Airport losing longtime leader
For the past 15 years, attorney and civic leader Henry Isaacson has cherished his first-class seat helping steer the direction of Piedmont Triad International Airport.
But this spring, the chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority will disembark for the last time from his place at the table during the governing board’s monthly meetings in the terminal.
Isaacson’s current three-year term on the Airport Authority will expire in April. When the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to reappoint Isaacson in 2011, he pledged that he would serve only one more term.
Isaacson said that he’ll keep that commitment. But he acknowledges that leaving the Airport Authority brings a host of mixed emotions.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Isaacson told The High Point Enterprise. “You work toward all of the goals we have set for ourselves out there. While we may not have accomplished all of them, we worked hard to achieve many things. And it sort of gets into your blood, in your DNA.”
Isaacson’s term on the governing board, which includes serving as chairman since 2003, has spanned a time of monumental change at PTIA. He’s served during the construction and opening of the FedEx Corp. cargo hub and new runway, the development of Honda Aircraft Co.’s research, testing and manufacturing complex for HondaJet and the restoration of the passenger terminal through upgrades and new features. Isaacson has been involved in recruiting new, successful airlines that continue to serve passengers, such as Allegiant and Frontier, and ones that didn’t pan out, such as bankrupt Skybus Airlines.
Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Bencini of High Point said the board will fill the Airport Authority seat in a timely manner.
Isaacson looks back at his five terms on the board and sees more achievements than disappointments. He also cherishes the hundreds of friendships he’s made with the airport staff, PTIA volunteers, vendors and others in the aviation field.
“I’ll miss it — that’s the way I can phrase it to you,” he said.
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In charge of airport
The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority is a seven-member appointed board that oversees operation of Piedmont Triad International Airport. The members are appointed by the Guilford and Forsyth county commissioners and the city councils of High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has three appointments, while the remaining four governments have one appointment each.