Jeffrey Bourk, the Branson Airport's only executive director since it debuted more than a decade ago, is leaving for a job out of state.
Bourk accepted a position as airport director of Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina, according to a news release. With approval from the New Hanover County Airport Authority Board, he's slated to start Jan. 3.
“We received 107 applications after a nationwide search, and Mr. Bourk stood out to all of us with his 25 years in airport business and operations management, the transformative business development initiatives he has led that have positioned airports for growth, and the way he has consistently brought new fixed base operators and new airlines to airports,” said Donna Girardot, chair of the airport authority, in the release. "He has a strong network of industry partners and has been a private pilot for over 30 years, which will help support and advance our partnerships with the general aviation community."
Branson Airport officials could not be reached for comment by deadline on the plans for Bourk's successor.
Bourk has been executive director of the Branson Airport since 2007, two years before it opened to travelers, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.
At the Hollister airport, Bourk's tenure recently has been marked by the return of Denver-based Frontier Airlines in 2018. After Frontier and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) left Branson Airport in 2014, the airport relied largely on charter flights, according to past reporting. The airport also has faced years of financial losses, along with bond payment issues, SBJ has reported.
The release indicates Branson Airport has served more than 1 million passengers to date and has delivered millions of dollars in economic impact to the community.
“I am excited for this new opportunity to move my family to Wilmington, to get to know the community and serve in this role as airport director with the great team ILM has in place,” Bourk said in the release. "It’s clear the Airport Authority is focused on strategic business planning and creating the best airport for the region, and I am eager to begin working with them, the ILM team, and the community to ensure that is, and continues to be, the reality.”
SBJ interviews the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District judge.