Venice Municipal Airport Director Chris Rozansky is leaving March 11 to become the executive director of the Naples Airport Authority, which operates the Naples Municipal Airport.
“Here in Venice, I'm a department head but as the executive director I'd essentially be the chief executive of the organization, reporting to a five-member board,” Rozansky said.
His tenure in Venice was marked by a renewed cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration as well as reconstruction of the main runway to remove 23 homes from the protection zone of the airport's main runway. Final work on that project should be completed by mid-March.
The Naples authority will vote on Rozansky's contract at its meeting Thursday.
“He's a very gifted, talented young man, he really did a lot in bringing our relationship around with the FAA,” Venice City Council Member Bob Daniels said. “Prior to him coming on board, we had a very poor relationship.”
Daniels also credited Rozansky with improving communication with nearby Golden Beach residents, who had peppered the city council with concerns almost every meeting prior to Rozansky's tenure.
“Chris did a great job resolving all those issues and giving reassurance to those people that we're going to rebuild and have a very safe airport,” Daniels said.
Rozansky, 37, came to Venice in October of 2010 from Collin County Regional Airport in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, an airport about the same size as in Venice.
In August 2012, the trade publication www.aviatonpros.com listed Rozansky as one of its top 40 under age 40 in the airport business.
“He's a talented young man and I wish him well,” Venice Mayor John Holic said.
“He did a marvelous job,” echoed Larry Taborsky, president of the Venice Aviation Society. “It's going to be a challenge to get someone hired and up to speed with what's coming up.”
Taborsky noted that with runway reconstruction, which required almost daily supervision, near completion when Rozansky departs, an FAA directive that the Venice Municipal Airport allow a skydiving business to open up on site must still be resolved.
“I suppose that's going to fall to the next guy,” he added.
The Naples Municipal Airport is larger than Venice, with about 100,000 take-offs and landings a year. It also sells fuel and and employs about 60 people.
Starting Feb. 27, it will also feature commercial airline service for the first time since 2007, when Elite Airways starts offering flights to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and to Portland, Maine.
“We've accomplished a lot with the leadership of the council and the city manager,” Rozansky said. “I certainly will miss Venice, but I'm looking forward to this new challenge.”