The Moore County Airport Authority has named Rick Cloutier from Idaho Falls, Idaho, as its new airport director effective Oct. 1.
The announcement was made by Mike Jones, chairman for the Moore County Airport Authority. Cloutier will replace current director Ron Maness, who is retiring in October.
Cloutier has had a career in airport management since 2006 in Maine, North Carolina and Idaho, where he has developed and executed operations administration plans for the facilities.
He oversaw the management at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Maine and later moved to the Concord Regional Airport in Concord, where he was instrumental in developing commercial air service. Most recently he was the airport director at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, where he expanded commercial services and developed more than $150 million in airport grants for the facility.
In addition to his hands-on experience running airports, Cloutier has operated airport customer service centers and is familiar with the importance of customer service at resort destination airports.
He is an expert on Federal Aviation Administration procedures and holds eight different aeronautical certifications. His experience includes working with regional and national industry associations and is highly regarded by airport and aviation industry leaders.
“Rick is a superb choice to lead the Moore County Airport into the future,” said Jones. “His industry knowledge and experience are well-suited to our vision and mission to be one of the best airports in the country. We have great confidence in his performance and high expectations for his future.”
Cloutier served for two decades in the U.S. Marines Corps worldwide as an aircraft mechanic. He is a graduate of the University of Maine, where he earned his degree in public administration.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to return to North Carolina and to have the opportunity to serve as director for the Moore County Airport,” said Cloutier. “The growth the airport has experienced in the past few years, coupled with the fact that the Pinehurst has always been one of the elite golf destinations in the world, opens many opportunities for success for this airport and the community.”
Jones added, “We are thankful for the years of service that Ron Maness has provided the airport during his four separate terms as director. His energy, leadership and aeronautical expertise has been instrumental in this airport’s growth and prosperity as one the top airports in the state. He will continue to be a valuable resource for Rick and the members for the Airport Authority for the future especially as we head into 2024 with the U.S. Men’s Open Championship being held at Pinehurst. We wish him well on his retirement.”
Cloutier will be relocating to the Pinehurst area with his wife in October. He has two adult children.
The Moore County Airport was established in 1929 when the Tufts family, founders and operators of the Pinehurst Resort, opened a dirt runway and named it “Knollwood Airport.” The airport was acquired by Moore County in 1935 and was later leased to the U.S. Army Air Corps until 1945, when it transitioned from a military airfield to a commercial airfield.
The Pinehurst-Southern Pines Airport, with Piedmont Airlines as the primary commercial carrier, operated commercial service until the late 1960s. The airport was renamed the Moore County Airport in 1980, and commercial air service returned in 1991 with CCAir, operating as USAir Express providing round trip service to Charlotte, North Carolina.
Passenger traffic peaked in 1998 with over 50,000 passengers arriving and departing from Moore County. Commercial service was discontinued following September 11, 2001.
Today, the Moore County Airport is a hub for private aircraft and corporate charter flights.