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July 14, 2015

David Darrah named state Airport Manager of Year

Contributed Photo
David Darrah, a retired Marine colonel, started as director of the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport in February 2012.
The Virginia Department of Aviation has named Fauquier’s airport director as the 2015 Airport Director of the Year.

David T. Darrah, a retired Marine colonel, started as director of the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland in February 2012.

Assistant County Administrator Katie Heritage credited Mr. Darrah “with refining the airport’s master and capital improvement plans, security improvements, new lighting and other major capital projects that are currently in progress with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Virginia Department of Aviation.”

With about 100 aircraft based there, the airport averages 126 takeoffs and landings a day. About 12 miles southeast of Warrenton, the airport has a 5,000-foot runway.

The airport has an annual operating budget of about $800,000, which it must fund with fuel sales and hangar and tie-down rentals.

Over the next couple of years, the county supervisors will consider investing as much as $9 million to expand the airport and upgrade utility systems as the core of an area designed for business development. State and federal funds would pay for most of the improvements.

The airport dates to 1964. County government purchased the bankrupt operation in 1991 to keep the airport open for general aviation. Fauquier gradually has made improvements there.

“I am pleased but not surprised to hear that Dave won,” said Supervisor Lee Sherbeyn (Cedar Run), whose district includes the airport. “He has been a wonderful asset to the airport and the County and we are extremely proud of this recognition.”

Mr. Darrah has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida, a master’s from the National Defense University and graduate certifications in high performance organizations, financial management and aviation. As a Marine, he served as a squadron pilot, flight instructor, fleet officer, squadron commander and air base commander.

“I am pleased but not surprised to hear that Dave won,” said Supervisor Lee Sherbeyn (R-Cedar Run), in whose district the airport is located. “He has been a wonderful asset to the airport and the County and we are extremely proud of this recognition.”




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