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Charlottesville airport names new CEO

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Authority announced Monday Chief Operating Officer Jason Burch will be taking over as CEO.

Burch plans to assume the role Sept. 1, replacing outgoing CEO Melinda Crawford who retires at the end of August.

He takes charge as air travel rebounds in the wake of the COVID pandemic and the airport celebrates the return of direct service to Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Orlando, Florida. In the future, the airport is planning on adding a new terminal and parking garage to accommodate growth.

“I’m honored to be selected as CHO’s next CEO,” Burch said in a statement. “I will also strive to the best of my abilities to ensure the continued success of CHO Airport, one of this community’s greatest assets.”

Burch began his career at CHO in 2001, and he has helped lead the airport through some of the “toughest times in its history,” Donald Long, chairman of the airport authority’s board, said in a statement.

Air travel has slowly been returning to CHO, even amid lingering staffing shortages at airlines and at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Crawford said Burch was "instrumental" in the restoration of direct flights to Orlando this past May.

“Jason’s decades of experience and passion for leadership will be crucial to the continued post-pandemic recovery of CHO Airport,” Long said.

Burch has served as CHO’s COO for the past six years. Before joining CHO, Burch served in the United States Marine Corps for 10 years, according to a statement from airport spokeswoman Stewart Key.

At CHO, Burch began as a public safety officer. He was later promoted to director of air service development and marketing. As COO, Burch led airport operations, managed construction projects and purchased equipment for CHO, Crawford said.

“This Airport has provided me with so many opportunities over the last 22 years, and I look forward to giving back to it and our community by taking on this leadership role,” Burch said.


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