Owensboro-Daviess County Airport Maintenance Supervisor Rick Wells is retiring.

Wells, who has advised and served under five airport directors, has been with the airport for the past 20 years through changes in leadership, policy and all aspects of the airport’s evolution into what it is today, said Rob Barnett, airport director.

“Everything you see when you come into the airport is under Rick’s operation,” Barnett said. “Lighting, signage, operational equipment, building maintenance. Every piece of this airport, outside of the planes, is under his purview. He maintains the 800 acres of the airport and is an airline agent for Cape Air and Allegiant. He has the most intimate knowledge of the airport of anyone here.”

Wells, an Owensboro native, was brought into the fold shortly before 2000 and has been involved in every aspect of the airport since. His plan after his final day on Thursday is to seek sunnier climates in Daytona Beach, Florida, in close proximity to Orlando Sanford International Airport so he can catch an Allegiant flight back to Owensboro to visit, said Barnett.

“He is excited,” he said. “His passion and dedication to the airport has really come through as his last day gets closer. It can be bittersweet. It is for me. When I started here a little over 18 months ago I leaned on him heavily to get the background and history of the operations, the grounds, leases, our tenants. The world of airports and aviation is constantly changing and Rick has adapted and strengthened every change. If Rick tells you he will be somewhere at 4 a.m., he’ll be there at 3:30 a.m. and when you show up he will ask you why you are late. That is Rick. Good, bad or indifferent, you can always depend on Rick Wells.”

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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