The County of Surry is pleased to announce the appointment of an Airport Manager who will oversee operations on behalf of Surry County at the Mount Airy/Surry County Airport. George Crater has been named to the position, effective January 1, 2019.

Mr. Crater has been employed as Planning Director with the Town of Elkin since 2006. In this role, he was responsible for management and oversight of Elkin Municipal Airport. His airport oversight experience includes: short and long-range planning for general aviation challenges, directing administrative and financial activities, new hangar development, capital improvement program, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and North Carolina Division of Aviation (DOA) grant compliance, and coordinating with engineering firms.

Mr. Crater has additional experience that will be beneficial in his role as Airport Manager. These include public relations with airport tenants, storm water administration, member of Northwest Piedmont Rural Planning Organization Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC), land use planning and code enforcement, and experience as a volunteer firefighter with the Elkin Fire Department.

Mr. Crater graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Economics and has a Certificate in Municipal Administration from the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

County Manager Chris Knopf said, “I would like to welcome George to our team, and we look forward to working with him. His experience in public sector airport management will bring much needed day-to-day oversight to the airport’s operations.”

Mr. Crater stated: “I am looking forward to this opportunity of working with Surry County and surrounding municipalities. It is exciting to be involved in the Mount Airy/Surry County Airport program and all the projected growth. The aviation program is and will continue to be an asset to many surrounding communities. Again, I am excited for this opportunity Surry County has given me.”

The Airport Authority has been operated as a blended component unit within Surry County Government since May, 2017, following the results of an audit review of the airport’s operations. At that time, the Authority relinquished day-to-day management and fiscal oversight to Surry County. In the recent past, airport management has been contracted out to a third party, Ra-Tech Aviation. Ra-Tech will continue in their capacity as the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the airport, providing aeronautical services such as fueling, common hangar space, tie-down and parking, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, etc.

The Mount Airy/Surry County Airport is located at 146 Howard Woltz Jr. Way, Mount Airy. For additional information, contact: Sandra Snow, Assistant County Manager, at 336-401-8202.