GEORGETOWN —Robert L. Bryant, a seasoned manager in the airport/aviation industry, has taken the helm of the Delaware Coastal Airport and Business Park.
[caption id="attachment_201919" align="alignleft" width="210"] Robert Bryant | Photo Courtesy Sussex County Government[/caption]
Bryant, who retired from a 23-year career of managing theSalisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airportfour years ago, started on July 27. He succeeds Eric Littleton, who held the position for a year before he returned to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
“I’m thrilled, I am excited, and I am happy to be associated with Sussex County and the Delaware Coastal Airport,” Bryant said in a public address on July 28. “I look forward to working with administration and economic development to make this airport the best it can possibly be to serve the aviation community and also to serve as an economic development tool for Sussex County.”
Bryant was selected from four candidates for the job, and he easily “shone above all others,” according to Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson. Bryan will oversee daily operations of the airport, which has roughly 35,000 landing and takeoffs per year as well as the rising business park outside Georgetown.
Bryant comes from both the public and private sectors as an aviation management, consultant and education career that spans four decades. He has held supervisory and operation positions in airports in Louisiana, West Virginia and Maryland since the 1980s.
As manager of the Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport, Bryant has overseen more than $60 million in capital improvements. That includes a runway extension, lease renewals, environmental issues, land acquisition and wildlife hazard management. Notably, he also oversaw the air arrival and departure of President Donald Trump in April 2016, who then was on the campaign trail and held a rally in Berlin, Maryland.
Since retiring, Bryant has worked as a college-level instructor and as an assistant project manager for a New Orleans-based aviation, energy and community planning firm.
Lawson pointed to Bryant’s background of working in the public sector, familiarity working with the Federal Aviation Administration and regional airport operators as well as leading capital, marketing and safety projects as what made him the clear choice for the position.
“Bob has the right mix of general aviation understanding, project development and long-term management experience our airport needs to get to the next level,” Lawson said in a prepared statement. “He knows municipal airports, he understands how to work with elected leaders and navigate the funding channels at the local, state and federal levels. There’s no question he’s more than qualified, and we look forward to parlaying his experience, expertise and enthusiasm for aviation as the County continues to improve the airport in the years to come.”
The Delaware Coastal Airport was built in the 1940s, and at one point was used by the U.S. Navy. Sussex County officials made multi-million-dollar in improvements for more than a decade, including extending the main runway to accommodate larger aircrafts like Boeing 757s to come in for conversion work at ALOFT AeroArchitects in the business park.