Regional Airport Authority names Sabo as new director

Nicholas Sabo, new Winchester Regional Airport Director.

WINCHESTER — The Winchester Regional Airport Authority announced Friday afternoon that a new executive director has been hired.

Nicholas Sabo will begin working July 9.

Sabo most recently served as the assistant manager of the Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., and taught aviation curriculum at the Community College of Baltimore County as an adjunct faculty member.

Sabo will replace the airport’s current executive director, Serena “Renny” Manuel.

Manuel, who has worked at the airport in various roles for 32 years, announced in January that she planned to retire this summer.

She previously told The Star that she and her husband would like to start traveling more after she retires.

“When you have a very dedicated, long-term employee who is retiring, like our current director, Renny Manuel, it’s tough to fill the position,” said Chairman of the Airport Authority Gene Fisher in a Friday news release. “We had good candidates and believe we have found someone that will be a good fit for our organization and will help guide our airport into the future.”

The Winchester Regional Airport, located at 491 Airport Road, is operated and maintained with a staff of five: airport director, operations supervisor, account clerk, and two maintenance staff. The Authority also owns and operates Winchester Aviation, the fixed-base operator for the airport, which has six employees who provide services such as fueling and parking.

As executive director, Sabo will have to ensure that the airport complies with federal and state regulations and orders. He will also work with local jurisdictions to continue the development of the airport to accommodate growth and future needs.

Frederick County serves as fiscal agent for the Regional Airport.

“We are currently working with Renny and Nick to assure a smooth transition and look forward to supporting all airport staff with what is sure to be a bright future,” said County Administrator Kris Tierney in the release. “Renny has been a driving force behind the success and development that has taken place at the airport and we sincerely thank her for more than 30 years of service to our community. She will surely be missed.”

According to the release, Sabo holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Purdue University and a master of aeronautical science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

After completing his undergraduate program, Sabo was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as an airfield operations officer. During his military career, Sabo managed airfield operations at two stateside locations, completed two overseas deployments, and obtained a Control Tower Operator certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Sabo is a private pilot and is recognized as an Accredited Airport Executive by the American Association of Airport Executives. In his spare time, he enjoys music, travel, and spending time with his wife, Mary, and son, Henry.

Winchester City Manager Eden Freeman is pleased the position is filled.

“I look forward to welcoming Mr. Sabo to our community and helping in any way necessary to ensure a smooth transition,” Eden said in the release.

Manuel’s last day as executive director is July 31. Manuel’s annual salary is $110,004.56. Sabo’s starting salary will be $98,000.

— Contact Josh Janney at jjanney@winchesterstar.com

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