A passenger makes her way through Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
MANCHESTER — Tom Malafronte, deputy director for Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, has been appointed acting Airport Director by Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, effective March 1.
Craig announced the appointment Tuesday night at a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen after the current director, Mark Brewer, informed Craig of his intent to retire on Feb. 28 after a decade on the job.
In a letter to Craig, Brewer said that after 43 years in the airport management business, “it is time for me to move on to the next phase of my life.”
“I step down knowing this important economic engine is in the hands of professionals who will continue to serve our region well,” Brewer wrote.
Brewer was the highest-paid city official in 2016, with a salary of $233,788.
Malafronte, who will assume the duties of the airport director position until a new airport director is hired, will be compensated at the entrance salary grade for the airport director’s position, listed as $155,975, according to information provided this week to city aldermen.
Passenger traffic at the airport has declined for 12 straight years. Expectations are that 2017 is likely to be the first time this century the number will dip below 2 million.
Traffic at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport during the first 11 months of 2017 was 2.8 percent less than in 2016; Boston’s Logan International Airport saw a 5.8 percent passenger increase through the first nine months of the same year.
Ticket prices averaged $380 in Manchester and $349 at Logan.
According to Craig, the airport director position has been posted internally and generated “a few resumes,” but the city plans to hire a recruiter to conduct a national search as well.
“We hope to have a recruiter in place by February 23, and a pool of candidates by the end of May,” said Craig.
The city’s goal is to complete the selection process by this summer.
Malafronte’s salary will jump from $134,000 a year now to $155,975 while serving as airport director. If he is not awarded the position permanently, he would return to his $134,000 salary once a new director is hired.
The director’s position will be posted nationally with a salary of $155,975, according to Human Resources Director Jane Gile.