Retiring Middletown airport manager: ‘It was just time’

Dan Dickten has retired as manager of the Middletown Regional Airport. The city will seek a replacement for his position. FILE PHOTO

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Dan Dickten has retired as manager of the Middletown Regional Airport. The city will seek a replacement for his position. FILE PHOTO

MIDDLETOWN — Dan Dickten turns 67 later this year so he felt it was “just time” to retire as manager of the Middletown Regional Airport.

Dickten, who lives near Milford, is no longer employed by the city of Middletown, according to a release from the city.

He was hired on June 22, 2018 to serve as airport manager for six months via a $35,000 contract, according to the Middletown Law Department. He was hired as a full-time city employee on Jan. 2, 2020 and his yearly salary was $71,866, according to city records.

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“On behalf of the City of Middletown, we express our collective thanks to Mr. Dickten for his work in moving the Middletown Regional Airport forward and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the press release read.

Effective immediately, Assistant Economic Development Director Matt Eisenbraun will be overseeing all business and management at the airport. Middletown City Manager Jim Palenick said Eisenbraun was the obvious choice because of his constant contact with the airport.

“He has the knowledge and ability right now,” Palenick said.

Middletown is seeking an interim transitional, fuel base operation service provider for three to 12 months and intends to prepare a request for proposal for long-term fuel services, the city said.

The success of the airport is “a top priority” for the city, according to the release. Ongoing airport projects, including the airport master plan, development of new hangars, an educational/workforce development center, and working to implement recent FAA recommendations for safety, will continue. The operation will remain at regular business hours.

Palenick said Dickten’s retirement will give the city an opportunity to “take a look” at how to best manage the airport: either with a contractor or full-time city employee.

That will be a key decision because of the role the airport plays in the city’s long-term plans. Palenick said the airport is “an important piece to the overall strategy to complete a sustainable, high-quality community.”

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