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"Colorado airport funding mistake leads to director leaving division"



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Colorado airport funding mistake leads to director leaving division
By Monte Whaley
The Denver (CO) Post


The man who admitted that his division's botched financial forecasting cost
Colorado airports at least $12 million in funding is being replaced.

David Gordon is no longer the director of the Colorado Department of
Transportation's Division of Aeronautics, the agency confirmed Tuesday. CDOT
deputy director Scot Cuthbertson was named the acting director of the
Aeronautics Division.

In November, Gordon told Colorado's 74 public-use airports that faulty
revenue forecasts forced the division to drastically cut its discretionary
grant program.

The division originally planned to have $15 million in the grant program to
give out next year. But because the division failed to adequately track the
drop in fuel prices - which funds the grant program - only $3 million would
be available in 2015.

Airport managers say they depend on the discretionary grants to improve
airport runways and make needed safety upgrades. 

Gordon, who was named director in April 2010, last week sent a letter to
airport managers apologizing for the mistakes.

"The timing is incredibly unfortunate: and again, we apologize that this
situation has placed you in a very difficult positions with your communities
and stakeholders as you complete your budget and planning cycles," Gordon
wrote.

CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said because the move was a personnel matter, she
couldn't say whether Gordon was fired or whether he resigned.

"All I can say is that he is no longer director of aeronautics," she said.

She added that the funding miscue was part of the reason for Gordon's
departure.

In an e-mail to airport managers, CDOT executive director Don Hunt said this
will be a "transitional assignment" for Cuthbertson and that CDOT and the
Colorado Aeronautics Board will determine a process to hire an interim and
then permanent director.

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