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Ongoing controversy with a faction of the Kingman City Council did not play a role in French’s decision. Nearing 70, he wants to spend time with his youngest grandkids.

 

KINGMAN – Dave French is ready to step down from his position at the Kingman Airport Authority. Again.

 

Here’s a verbatim copy of the announcement:

Effective December 31, Dave French, Executive Director of the Kingman Airport Authority, will begin his second formal retirement. Mr. French launched his most recent career with KAA in 2006, after 34 years as a telecommunications executive.   Prior to his paid position with the Authority, French served as a member of the KAA Board of Directors for 22 years and was elected president three times.

 

Under the leadership of Mr. French, the Authority has updated flight services and plant facilities, constructed new administrative offices as well as new bays for air rescue firefighter teams, and established the first-ever, short-line railroad (Kingman Terminal RR) to better serve industries in the Park. In addition, a valuable partnership with the U.S. Navy brings their pilots to Kingman for flight training on an annual basis. Employment at the Park has also risen during the past eleven years, with the addition of 379 new jobs.

Mr. French moved the Authority from a sales-only based enterprise to one that incorporates land leases as well. As a result, 950 acres of FAA-released land have either been sold or leased for industrial purposes. He also restructured tenant leases for commercial plane storage and private hangars, making them more competitive, and more in line with comparable rents at similar airports.

Nearly all of the currently used runways and taxiways on the airfield and most of the associated ramp areas have been rebuilt during Mr. French’s tenure, this includes two runways, seven taxiways and the aircraft apron. The settlement with the Federal Government for remediation of the Dross (WWII-era smelted aluminum waste) Site is on track, according to French, and will create additional usable ramp and taxiway areas. To satisfy heightened Homeland Security regulations, security fencing and cameras were put in place. A pilot-controlled runway and taxiway lighting system were also installed.

 

During his 34 years in telecom, French held executive positions with GTE Telephone, Citizens Frontier Communications and Mohave Wireless. In 1992, he spearheaded the move to bring cellular telephone services to Mohave County, with the formation of a Verizon-Citizens-Cascade general partnership. He was elected chair of both the Arizona /New Mexico Telecommunications Association and the Rocky Mountain Telecommunications Association in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

He has been a member of the board of directors at Kingman Regional Medical Center since 1985. He was first elected chairman in 2009 and continues to hold that position. He was a member of the Committee on Government Relations for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association from 2005 to 2007 and was appointed to the AZHHA board in 2012. Since then, he has chaired the Trustee Committee.

Mr. French has lived in Kingman since 1981 and has served his community in many professional capacities. He was elected to the city council twice, in 2000 and 2004; appointed vice-mayor in 2006; and chaired the business license review commission from 2013 to 2016. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as chairman of the board in 1987.   Since 2009, he has been a member of the Judicial Merit Commission for Mohave County Courts, chairing it two times.

In 1987, French helped charter the Route 66 Rotary in Kingman; he is a Paul Harris Fellow and was the club’s president in 1992. Dave is also a founder of Mission Bank, a rural Arizona community bank with four branches, serving Mohave and Coconino counties. He has been a member of its board of directors since 2001 and chaired it for fourteen years.

French will remain in Kingman, serving on the boards of Mission Bank and KRMC, as well as the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. He and his wife, Lynda, have three adult children and three granddaughters. He enjoys boating, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking and flying.

In a brief interview with The Standard, French, 69, said he originally planned to retire in July of 2014, but people convinced him to stay on for a few more years.

His reasoning for leaving is certainly understandable.

“I worked throughout my kids’ childhoods,” he said. “I worked through the older granddaughter’s childhood. Everybody’s all grown up, but these last two grandkids are 8 and 4 and I’m going to spend all the time I can with them.”

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