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New Willard Airport executive director has Kankakee County connection

A Manteno native is the new executive director at Willard Airport in Savoy. Tim Bannon will move from the interim-director’s job he’s had the last 16 months to the post of executive director at Willard. Bannon says he’s very excited about his new position; grateful for the opportunity. He replaces former director Gene Cossey.

The University of Illinois announced the appointment Thursday morning after a national search, pending approval by UI trustees. Bannon's salary will be $145,000.

Bannon worked at airports in South Carolina, Michigan and Arizona before joining Willard in February 2018.

Bannon has been the airport's assistant director of operations and maintenance for the past 16 months. Gene Cossey left in February for a similar job in Tennessee. Bannon has been interim executive director since then. Bannon is a licensed pilot, earning his flight certification and two other degrees from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He received a bachelor's degree in aviation management in 2009 and a master's in public administration in 2012.
He said Willard's top priority won't change under his leadership: expanding flights.

94.1 WGFA