Darke County Airport manager Scott Naas

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GREENVILLE – Scott Naas brings his passion for aviation to his job as the Darke County Airport manager. 

He got his love for aviation while growing up in Vandalia. His parents lived right on the end of a runway at Dayton International, so he watched the planes come and go. 

“It just became a fascination of being around airplanes and seeing planes, just the industry in general,” Naas said. “In aviation, once you catch the bug, it’s hard to get rid of it, so it’s always been a part of my interests.” 

His aviation career started in 2011 with a CTC program. From there, he went to Sinclair and then Bowling Green, graduating with a  Bachelor’s degree in 2018.  

Naas started working for the Darke County Airport in February 2019. He was hired by Mike Rhoades, a county commissioner at the time. 

Naas manages everything at the airport: 110 acres, 30 tenants, 20,000 gallons of fuel, runway safety, runway lights, snow removal, grass cutting, overnight landings and take-offs, and ground transport. 

“Pretty much anything that you can think of with the airport is on me,” Naas said. “The grants are handled with the Commissioners, but facilities management is my show.” 

Things have changed for the airport since Naas was hired in 2019. When he started, the big projects were the access road to the north, new access to all the t-hangers, and the main drive. The full-length taxiway was the next big project, starting in 2022. 

The biggest project so far has been the terminal. They received the grant for that in 2022. 

The airport has continued to grow. 

“All my hangers are full now,” Naas said. “They weren’t five years ago. There are people on a waiting list now.” 

There has also been a lot of economic growth. In 2019, annual fuel sales were around $80,000. Now, they’re at about $220,000. 

CareFlight’s joining was huge for the airport as well; they joined in 2020. Midmark got involved around the same time, doing around 175 flights a year. With fuel sales and ramp fees, Midmark makes a big impact on the airport’s revenue. 

The relationship the airport has with the FAA helps move projects along and keeps the airport growing and improving.

“We have a relationship that no airport that I know of has with the FAA,” Naas said. “We always seem to have a way to be on their team and be successful with the improvement program that’s offered to us.” 

When meeting with the FAA, the Darke County Airport ensures that its project plans are ready to go. The Airport is unique in that it doesn’t have an advisory board that meets once a month. The Commissioners’ direct relationship with the airport speeds up the process and makes them more productive. 

Naas’s favorite part of his job as an airport manager is the customer service aspect. Meeting people from around the country, getting to pick their brains, making connections, and hearing stories from seasoned pilots. 

“I think it’s the customers that come in from all over the country, stop for fuel, use the facilities, and just talking with them and seeing where they come from what their background is,” Naas said. “I definitely enjoy the operations side of it, but really, the customer service and interactions with the customers is my strong suit.” 

Naas hopes the airport will continue to grow in the future. He hopes for more tenants, more permanent travelers, and a community hanger.

“Keep people coming into the county, keeping their planes here and using the facilities we have,”  Naas concluded.