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King to lead Covington airport
John King, left, will take over for Vincent Passariello, right, as the Covington Municipal Airport Manager. (Jackie Gutknecht | The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. - Starting Monday, the Covington Municipal Airport will be under the watchful eye of new Airport Manager John King.

Formerly a Ground Operations Technician at the airport, King started his career as a firefighter and picked up a part-time job with the airport eight years ago. After around four years in a part-time position, King was offered a full-time position and he left his job fighting fires.

Since then, King has done everything he could to qualify himself for the airport manager position. He finished his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science and at the end of this month, he will complete his master’s degree in leadership and organizational effectiveness.

King hopes to continue the improvements and growth started by current Airport Manager Vincent Passariello. Passariello will retire from the position Friday.

“My main purpose is to continue to improve the airport, to attract industry and tenants,” he said.

King said Passariello’s goal was to develop the airport and now it is his goal to start working towards more community outreach and marketing the airport through job shadowing experiences, field trips and social media.

“It’s not just the City of Covington’s airport,” he said. “This is here to benefit the entire community.”

King said the airport will do anything it can to ensure its pilots, passengers and visitors are treated to all of the services they need.

“We base our foundation on customer service,” he said.

King said he is excited for the possible growth the city is about to experience with the introduction of Three Ring Studios and other developments.

“We’re going to grow with it,” he said. “We want to grow, but we want to grow smart. The reason behind that, that’s going to improve the lives, the quality of living for the community.”

Recently, the Covington City Council approved the addition of five new canopy-style T-hangars. He said those hangars are being built because of the demand, adding the city has a waiting list for people wanting hangar space.

King is currently involved in the Rotary Club of Covington and serves as the co-chair for Leadership Newton County.

“I’m local, I was born and raised here,” he said. “I really have a vested interest not only in the City of Covington as an employer but in the community. I want to see the community grow to improve the quality of life for not just me but for you and for everybody.”