Brewer named airport director in Manchester

MANCHESTER -- Airport executive Mark P. Brewer made a smooth landing last night, when Manchester aldermen unanimously appointed him director of the city-owned Boston-Manchester Regional Airport.

In brief comments to Mayor Frank Guinta and aldermen, Brewer tempered previous statements that emphasized airport growth, specifically his goal to secure a non-stop flight from Manchester to the West Coast. Doing so, he has said, would break a near monopoly that Logan Airport holds on cross-country flights in New England.

"I do hope to do all that. I also want to do it in a measured and responsible way," Brewer said last night.

Although they are economic engines, airports do cause noise and traffic congestion, Brewer said, adding that he wants to work closely with surrounding neighborhoods to address those issues.

For the past 3½ years, Brewer has headed the Rhode Island Airport Corp., a group of six airports that includes T.F. Green in Providence. He left the job unable to secure an environmental impact statement needed to expand Green's main runway to allow transcontinental flights.

Brewer takes over for Kevin Dillon, who left this spring to take the No. 2 job at Orlando International Airport.

"I know those are very big shoes to fill," Brewer said last night.

He will begin at a salary of $185,195 and be eligible for a raise to $190,750 after six months, with the mayor's approval.

Also last night, Guinta announced that Deputy Fire Chief Nick Campasano will fill in as interim Fire Chief once Joe Kane leaves on Dec. 1. Campasano is not interested in applying for the permanent post, Guinta said.

Campasano's appointment will allow for a smooth transition once Kane's successor is named and reduce concerns of favortism in the hiring process, Guinta said.