News Release

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Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria appoints new Director of Airports

Peoria, Illinois — The Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria has appointed a new Director of Airports. At its meeting Monday afternoon, the MAAP announced the appointment of Gene N. Olson as its new Director of Airports beginning on June 15th. Olson will oversee the operation and development of the Airport Authority’s two facilities, Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport and Mt. Hawley Airport.

Dean Heinzmann, Chairman of MAAP’s Board of Commissioners, commented on the hiring of Mr. Olson. “Gene’s background in airport planning and operations will be invaluable to the Authority as we continue to position the airport for growth and expanded service to Central Illinois. We met Gene three years ago and are pleased that he will continue his career serving his hometown” said Heinzmann. “Gene will be joining and leading a strong, committed Airport staff.”

Olson comes to Peoria from the Evansville Regional Airport in Indiana, where he is currently the Assistant Airport Manager. His work there involved the management of the day to day operation of the airport, construction, and working in airport development. Before that he worked for the Indiana Department of Transportation and an Indiana-based engineering firm in aviation planning. His knowledge of airport development funding, construction and his background in airport planning will aid in guiding the funding and construction of the new terminal facility. “I hope to hit the ground running and help expedite the construction of the new terminal,” Olson said.

A former Peorian, Olson is familiar with both facilities owned by the MAAP. Olson graduated from Peoria High School in 1979 and from Augustana College in Rock Island. Olson has a commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating and has flown into both airports many times. Olson’s parents also reside in Peoria. Olson stated “This is not only a wonderful professional opportunity for me, but it also allows me to be closer to family and old friends. I’m very pleased that the goals of the Board of Commissioners and my professional and family goals are going in the same direction. I’m looking forward to building relationships with the staff, tenants, and users of the airports as we move toward a productive future.”

Mary DeVries
Interim Director of Airports
phone: (309) 697-8272

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