Airport Manager Brings Career in for a Landing

After 31 years of service, Tom Tominack is retiring as manager of the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

Tominack said he actually was eligible to retire last year but decided he wanted to stay and see some projects through, mainly the expansion of the runway safety area and the terminal museum expansion.

”I don’t like to leave loose ends,” he said.

Tominack said an exact date for his retirement has not been set, but he noted it would be soon.

He said he alerted the Ohio County Commission a year ago of his intention to retire. The commission began advertising the position as open this past Sunday.

”The fact that we were able to maintain a high standard of safety is one of my most proud accomplishments,” Tominack said.

Tominack, 55, a Triadelphia resident, said he plans to spend more time with his family during his retirement and pursue other interests.

During his tenure, Tominack oversaw $20 million in federally funded projects at the airport. The county-owned airport consists of 1,000 acres and is located 9 miles north of Wheeling. It also is home to the 150th Aviation Battalion of the West Virginia National Guard and an Army National Guard base, as well as the Civil Air Patrol.

Commissioner Randy Wharton said Tominack will be missed, but he hopes Tominack will be available for advice and consultation in the future.

”I’m sorry we’re going to lose him. He’s a great airport manager. He’s done a lot of good up there. … He’s also been a great supervisor for us. He’s a hard-working guy – he’s not taken a lot of vacation days, sick days or a lot of time off,” Wharton added. ”The airport is a whole lot better place because of him. He’s going to be hard to replace, and he’s a good friend.”

Commissioner Tim McCormick said Tominack took care of the airport like it was his own.

”He did an outstanding job of getting grants, and he made it the best small airport around. He’s done an outstanding job up there,” McCormick said.

McCormick noted that although Tominack knew best, he always consulted the commissioners when issues would arise at the airport.

”He was the ultimate professional,” he added.

Commissioner Orphy Klempa said he also was impressed with Tominack’s ability to seek and receive grants for projects to avoid putting the burden on county taxpayers.

”His legacy will be there forever because of all he’s done and the pride he’s taken in it,” Klempa said.