New airport manager hangar-ing to get to Lanett

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

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LANETT — While the city council is again giving consideration to hiring a city manager, it looks like Lanett does have a new airport manager.

According to Mayor Jamie Heard, Craig A. Stapleton of Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico has accepted the position and will be relocating here once he sells his house.

Stapleton has previous experience in managing an airport. He’s a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy as an aviator. He flew the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler, which specializes in jamming radar systems.

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He also served his squadron as a scheduling and assistant maintenance officer. He also has extensive experience in flying in civilian life.

Stapleton was in the Navy from 1987 to 2011, when he retired.

Since then he has taught Naval Science courses in the public schools of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He teaches groups of 50 or more JROTC students Naval history along with STEM and leadership courses. He also coaches physical fitness and marksmanship teams.

Stapleton is a graduate of Lyman High School in Longwood, Florida. He holds a B.S. degree in Economics from Auburn University, an MBA from City University, Seattle, Washington and an M.A. in Education from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

“I am familiar with what pilots want from an airport,” he wrote in his application.

“With my extensive flying in my local community, I am aware of the challenges involved in growing an airport. I have been very much involved in the operations of my local airport. I also believe that my decades of leadership and managerial skills will be assets in this position.”

Stapleton was interviewed for the position by a c0mmittee including Heard, Bill Scott, Mike Ballard and Brad Lynn.