AUBURN – Airport officials are close to naming a new General Manager, according to Chairman Edouarde Plourde.

Plourde said he planned to open negotiations with possible new manager Friday. The Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport’s board of directors approved the candidate at their meeting on Thursday and directed Plourde to contact him and make a job offer.

“There’s a lot that I can’t say, until we make an offer and it’s accepted,” Plourde said. “Hopefully, we’ll have more information shortly.”

Former General Manager Peter Drinkwater stepped down in June to take a job as the director of the San Diego County airport system. Plourde said the airport has been advertising nationally for his replacement ever since.

“We’re looking for someone who has the same attitude (Drinkwater) did,” Plourde said. “We want someone who can really direct the future of the airport, not just maintain what we’ve been doing.”

Plourde said goals include increasing corporate use of the of the airport and tying in with the proposed passenger rail-bus intermodal facility. That combined bus station is proposed to be built adjacent to the airport by 2007.

The salary for the airport manager will be negotiated with the candidate. Drinkwater was paid $45,000 annually, according to the City of Auburn budget.

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