The New Hanover County Airport Authority Board has named Jeffrey Bourk as ILM’s new Airport Director. Bourk will begin in this new role on January 3, 2022.
“We received 107 applications after a nationwide search, and Mr. Bourk stood out to all of us with his 25 years in airport business and operations management, the transformative business development initiatives he has led that have positioned airports for growth, and the way he has consistently brought new fixed base operators and new airlines to airports,” said Airport Authority Chairman Donna Girardot. “He has a strong network of industry partners and has been a private pilot for over 30 years, which will help support and advance our partnerships with the General Aviation community. He has a proven track record of working with economic development partners that will help grow our business park, and he is skilled in team building and fostering a caring and motivated culture. The Airport Authority members all feel that Mr. Bourk’s strategic approach, new synergy, and career aviation knowledge will help ILM grow to heightened levels of excellence and we look forward to working with him.”
Bourk has served as the Executive Director of Branson Airport in Hollister, MO for 14 years where he successfully built the airport from the ground up to become an integral part of the area’s tourism industry, building its infrastructure and bringing in low-cost carriers to help make flying in and out of the area more accessible and economical. The airport is one of the industry’s largest public private partnerships constructing a green field airport and has served more than one million travelers and created millions of dollars of economic benefit to the Branson Tri-Lakes region since opening in 2009.
Prior to his role at Branson Airport, he was Assistant Airport Manager for Portland International Jetport for six years where he managed all airport facility operations and was vital in attracting and growing new air service; serving over 1.5 million passengers annually during his tenure. He has also worked in operations management roles for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at Teterboro Airport, one of the largest General Aviation Airports in the US. Early in his career he held a leadership role in operations at White Plains Airport that serviced 1.75 million passengers annually at the time.
He has a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Aviation Management from Daniel Webster College graduating at the top of his class, a Bachelor of Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is an Accredited Airport Executive. He was a certified aircraft rescue firefighter, has his FAA private pilot certificate, and is involved in numerous airport and pilot trade associations.
“I am excited for this new opportunity to move my family to Wilmington, to get to know the community and serve in this role as Airport Director with the great team ILM has in place,” said Bourk. “The airport is experiencing a lot of exciting new changes, with the terminal expansion, increased activity in the business park, and the addition of several new, non-stop flights. I look forward to creating and implementing strategic air service development and business park plans ensuring ILM contributes the maximum economic impact to the region, bringing in additional flights, and ensuring our business operations align with sustainable growth to provide high-quality service for residents and visitors. My wife and I are both pilots and we are looking forward to getting involved with the active general aviation community at ILM. It’s clear the Airport Authority is focused on strategic business planning and creating the best airport for the region, and I am eager to begin working with them, the ILM team, and the community to ensure that is, and continues to be, the reality.”
The Airport Authority voted unanimously at its meeting on Wednesday, November 3 to approve Bourk as the Airport Director and enter into a contract with him for an initial period of six (6) months beginning on January 3, 2022 and continuing through July 3, 2022. Upon a majority vote of the Airport Authority, the agreement shall continue for four (4) years and shall run through January 3, 2026.
New Hanover County Airport Authority Chairman
*Please note, the original release shared a 3-year contract timeframe. The release has been updated to reflect the terms in the signed contract which is for an initial period of six (6) months beginning on January 3, 2022 and continuing through July 3, 2022. Upon a majority vote of the Airport Authority, the agreement shall continue for four (4) years and shall run through January 3, 2026.