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Manager of Dulles to Become Executive Director of Roanoke-Blacksburg Region

Mike Stewart, a 38-year industry veteran, will succeed Tim Bradshaw, who resigned in January. Stewart will be paid an initial annual salary of $230,000 and is scheduled to start Oct. 4, officials said.

The Roanoke airport is much smaller than Dulles International Airport, but Stewart said he is excited to return back to the Roanoke area.

"This is an opportunity for me because it is a top executive position in the industry that I love and in an area I and my family love," said Stewart, who had an airline management job at the Roanoke airport early in his career.

Stewart, is also a vice president with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which also operates Reagan National Airport in Arlington.

The Roanoke-Blacksburg airport has been striving to persuade airlines to offer additional, regular non-stop flights. Officials hope Stewart can use his industry experience and contacts in the industry and in state government to make that happen. Local officials say they are confident that more flights will make possible more growth in the local economy.

Stewart said he looks forward to playing a more hands-on role in airport management than his current job offers. His new projects will include completing a new master plan for the Roanoke airport, soliciting proposals for the fixed-base operator contract and upgrading the airport website. Another project in the pipeline is devising a use for a section of the main terminal that has been vacant since car rental companies moved into a complex the airport built for them.