Special Reports

Airport about to get interim director

A Toledo, Ohio, airport director apparently will become interim executive director of Lexington's Blue Grass Airport starting in mid-February.

Eric J. Frankl, director of airports for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, is expected to be in Lexington on Thursday to meet with local airport officials.

The Blue Grass Airport board's approval of Frankl for the interim post and the terms of his employment are expected to be finalized at a special meeting of the airport board on Thursday.

"Eric, I think, is a candidate that surfaced early in our process. I feel like he's kind of an up-and-coming young star in the business," said J. Robert Owens, chairman of the airport board. "I think he's perfect for the interim position at this point."

In his job in Ohio, Frankl has been responsible for the operation and administration of Toledo Express and Metcalf airports.

Lexington's Blue Grass Airport has had an acting director, Alfred Testa Jr., since early January, after longtime Executive Director Michael Gobb resigned amid questions about his spending of airport money.

David Wescott, a spokesman for the airport, said it is his understanding that Testa will remain at Blue Grass Airport full time until Feb. 16 and then take on a consulting role, phasing out his work for the airport over time.

Testa was brought to the job by Jacobs Consultancy, which the airport board hired to help with restructuring airport management and policies and procedures. The consulting firm was hired in the wake of the spending scandal, which also led to the resignations of three airport directors who worked directly under Gobb.

The four who resigned spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in airport money, some of which allegedly was used to buy non-business-related goods and services, such as DVDs, electronic equipment and meals, over a three-year period.

Before working in Toledo, Frankl was executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Ill., and director of operations at Fort Wayne International Airport in Fort Wayne, Ind.

He also is a former president of the Great Lakes chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.