WILLIAMSTOWN - A former longtime Wood County Airport Authority member was recognized for his service during the board's monthly meeting Tuesday.
Tim Flinn accepted the Spirit of Wood County Award on behalf of his late father, Virgil Flinn, from fellow board member and Wood County Commissioner Wayne Dunn.
Tim Flinn was appointed by the commission in October to fill his father's position on the airport board following the Sept. 21 death of Virgil Flinn, 81, of Washington, W.Va.
Photo by Jolene Craig
New Wood County Airport Authority member Tim Flinn, right, receives the Spirit of Wood County Award from Wood County Commissioner and airport board member Wayne Dunn, left, on behalf of his father, Virgil Flinn, who passed away in September. The award is to honor Virgil Flinn’s community service and his more than 20 years of service to the airport.
"The commission presents the award to citizens who work for the citizens to make the community better. Virgil Flinn was posthumously recognized for his "achievements, accomplishments and community spirit."
"In Virgil's case, it is a lifetime achievement award because he spent his life making Wood County a better place," Dunn said.
Tim Flinn was surprised by the presentation of the award and said he was "humbled and honored" to accept it on behalf of his father.
"On behalf of the entire Flinn family and Dad's many friends, we are very honored, humbled and proud to receive this award on (his) behalf," said Tim Flinn. "I know he would be very elated to be recognized like this. He was very active in his community and reached out to the public in many ways. Words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude; thank you!"
Virgil Flinn was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War and worked for Piedmont Airlines and U.S. Airlines at the Wood County and Yeager airports for more than 37 years. He was a member of the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department since 1963 and was fire chief there for 19 years. He served on the Wood County Emergency Services Board of Directors and was active in the planning of the air shows at the airport.
In other airport business:
* The number of passengers for October increased by almost 100 from September, said airport manager Terry Moore.
Enplanements were 763 for the month, which Moore said was "a good month."
"In the past six years, there is not an October with enplanement numbers even close," he said.
The numbers surprised board members because six flights were canceled during Hurricane Sandy last week.
"We essentially lost two days' worth of flights because of the hurricane," Moore said. "If it hadn't been for the storm and the canceled flights, we could have had 800 passengers."
Authority president Bill Richardson said the number is reflecting the community's confidence in the airport and the service offered.
"If they stay like this through the next two months, we are on track to have 7,600 enplanements," Richardson said. This number does not reflect the more than 300 estimated passengers on chartered flights that will be added by the Federal Aviation Administration at a later date.
The number of enplanements is important because airports that have at least 10,000 enplanements a year receive $1 million in federal Airport Improvement Project (AIP) funds annually; airports with fewer passengers receive $150,000.
The closest year in recent history was 2008 where the airport had 5,169 enplanements due to several months of three flights a day to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., from former carrier Colgan Air, Moore said.