PENDLETON — For the first in years, Pendleton Economic Development Director Steve Chrisman can drop “airport manager” from his title.

In a July 8 press release, the city of Pendleton announced it was hiring John Honemann to manage the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, his area of authority including a more than 2,300-acre airport, a 1,000-acre wheat farm and two industrial parks with more than 90 tenants.

As the airport manager, Honemann will be expected to work closely with the growing Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range and oversee the federally subsidized Essential Air Service contract that provides funding for commercial flights between Pendleton and Portland.

Honemann has a long career in aviation, having spent the past eight years working for the Federal Aviation Administration in safety and compliance. Prior to the FAA, his career includes stints as the general manager of a jet center in Montrose, Colorado, and as a flight officer and UAS pilot for the U.S. Navy.

Honemann is moving to Pendleton from Colorado and has a bachelor's and master’s degree from the University of Colorado. An avid outdoorsman who previously coached a high school mountain bike team, Honemann is married with a son in the Marines and a daughter in high school.

Despite him having no experience in aviation, the city added airport management to Chrisman’s economic development duties in 2013 after the retirement of longtime manager Larry Dalrymple. In November, the city decided to make airport manager its own position again so Chrisman could focus more on economic development. Chrisman still will oversee the airport, but Honemann will handle day-to-day duties.

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