Jeffery Tripp to be Next La Crosse Regional Airport Director

May 21, 2024

May 20—The La Crosse Aviation Board named a new La Crosse Regional Airport director Monday afternoon after previously passing the candidate over in March. Jeffery Tripp was selected by the board after a round of interviews and will need to be confirmed by city officials before full installation.

Tripp hails from Cottonwood Municipal Airport in Arizona. Cottonwood Municipal Airport is a non-towered airbase for general aviation. No major airlines currently use the airport. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the airport is known as a major hub for flight training and tourism flights, with many visiting for the surrounding wineries and nearby outdoor recreation opportunities.

His first airport manager position was at Arizona's Prescott Municipal Airport in 2012. From there, Tripp took his first director position in Redmond, Oregon, for just over a year.

Tripp then served as airport manager for Muskegon County Airport, a non-primary commercial service airport from 2016 to 2019. Muskegon County Airport is served by United Airlines with daily service to O'Hare International Airport and charter flights to three other East Coast cities.

Tripp was one of two airport director candidates announced by La Crosse's Human Resources Department in March to take the open position. The interview panel decided to restart the search in April after not being satisfied with the results.

"He just came to the top as the very obvious, best candidate," Aviation Board chair Tamra Dickinson said about Tripp returning as a top candidate.

The city will move Tripp's confirmation to the Finance & Personnel Committee meeting June 6. If his confirmation passes, the full city council will consider the candidate June 13.

Tripp would begin service as airport director June 17, right after the airport hosts the Deke Slayton Airfest.

The new airport director steps into a turbulent spot with many changes landing at La Crosse Regional in the past year. Last June, Delta Air Lines suspended all services to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to and from La Crosse. The leave took one-third of potential passengers with them.

Now, La Crosse Regional Airport has three daily flights to O'Hare International Airport operated by American Airlines every day. American Airlines added the third daily flight in February and expanded to larger aircraft earlier this month.

Previous airport director Ian Turner left for another director position in Idaho Falls. He served as La Crosse's airport director for 4 1/2 years. The Aviation Board started the search for a new director the same month.

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