Washington County, Md., seeks new director for Hagerstown airport

Mike Lewis
Hagerstown Herald-Mail

After fewer than three years, Washington County is again looking for a Hagerstown Regional Airport director.

The county posted the job opening last week.

Hagerstown Regional Airport Director Garrison Plessinger speaks to a meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners in January 2019. He is leaving the airport after three years on the job.

The current director, Garrison Plessinger, confirmed he was leaving but declined to discuss his reasons.

“I would rather not elaborate on my personal decision,” he wrote in an email.

Plessinger wrote that his last day on the job has not been determined.

“I will be staying until we get the position back filled,” wrote Plessinger, a native of St. Thomas and a 2009 graduate of James Buchanan High School.

Plessinger was named director of the facility just north of Hagerstown in October 2018. He was working as an airline analyst in Texas before taking the Washington County job, according to a previous Herald-Mail Media report.

He followed the former airport director, Phil Ridenour, who retired.

The job is advertised with a salary of $75,837 a year. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Feb. 18.

According to the posting, the director “Provides professional direction and oversight of the Hagerstown Regional Airport. Direction is provided by the County Administrator. Works cooperatively and coordinates with the Airport Commission appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Collaborates and coordinates with various County Divisions and Departments, including Business Development, Public Relations and Marketing, Engineering, Emergency Management, Grant Management, Budget and Finance, Purchasing, and Facilities Maintenance and Economic Development Commission. Provides direct Supervision over Airport Department Personnel.”

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Hagerstown Regional Airport serves private flights and provides passenger service through Allegiant Air. Several businesses also are based at or near the airport complex.

Allegiant offers year-round flights from Hagerstown to Orlando, Fla., as well as seasonal flights to St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The airport recently installed a passenger boarding bridge, and the terminal expansion project is expected to be finished in March, according to information from the county. Another project will rehabilitate a runway.

The airport lost some regular routes in 2019, when the U.S. Department of Transportation ruled that Hagerstown was no longer eligible for federal Essential Air Service subsidies, which helped pay for daily flights.

As a result, Southern Airways stopped providing flights between the local airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, as well as Pittsburgh International Airport.