Dawn Veatch to lead Salisbury-Wicomico Airport

The Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport has a new director, replacing longtime director Bob Bryant, who formally retired in January.

Dawn Veatch, who has enjoyed a career with the Federal Aviation Administration, was hired last week. Her most recent position was Senior Director of Government Affairs in the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association, where she worked since 2015.

With 25 years in the aviation business, she is a pilot and flight instructor.

Veatch was pilot-in-command of firefighting missions before her FAA career and also personal pilot for two secretaries of interior. She provided high-level secure transportation with the U.S. Secret Service.

“We’re excited to have her,” County Executive Bob Culver said this week.

“We’ve very pleased to have been able to gain someone with her experience and knowledge in the Salisbury market. She will be just what we asked for as far as being able to move the airport forward to help us grow,” he said.

Veatch has an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate for single and multi-engine, single-engine sea and a type rating in Douglas DC-9 airplanes. She has a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-, multi-engine and instrument rating.

She expanded the national Aviation Support Network to “ensure that airports and pilots were represented and protected,” according to a news release issued by the county.

Veatch was also executive producer of the film “America’s Community Airport: Going Higher,” which debuted at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. It is now being used to showcase the network of America’s airports.

Veatch was director of the Office of Internal Affairs for the FAA from 2009 to 2014 and was responsible for coordinating FAA efforts in Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

She advanced the government’s international aviation goal of increasing economic growth and negotiated high-level public-private partnerships, implementing advanced new technologies and best practices benefitting airports, communities, and governments, according to the news release.

Veatch served as division manager for the Flight Standards Service-Southern Region, made up of 21 field offices and nearly 900 employees.

She had jurisdiction over the eight states in the southeast United States, as well as Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, South and Central America and was responsible for the aviation safety oversight of 32 countries, more than 20 air carriers, 700 aircraft maintenance repair stations and 300 air taxi operators.

Married to Raymond Veatch, a retired FAA attorney, she’s the mother of three daughters. Her annual salary will be $110,000.

Bryant, 55, retired from the local airport to accept a position in the airport industry working as liaison and with the FAA.

“I’ve taken enormous pride in everything that we’ve done here at the airport, especially under the heavy economic realities in this industry,” he said before his retirement.

“I have loved the 23 years I’ve been the airport manager here. I have poured my heart and soul into this position,” Bryant told the Salisbury Independent.

Culver responded to his retirement by issuing a news release stating he was “appreciative of the service rendered by Bob to the citizens of Wicomico County.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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