335 Years of Service Set To Retire From The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority February 1.
January 29, 2015
ALLENTOWN, PA – The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority will say farewell to 10 employees beginning February 1, 2015.
Of the 10, Thomas Doster, Systems Director, has been employed with LNAA for 47 years since 1967, a mere 40 years after the airport began. A few months later, in 1968, both the U.S. and aviation experienced a few notable triumphs and tragedies; including the assassination of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as well as the introduction of Boeing’s 747 “Jumbo Jet”, a game changer for the aviation industry.
Doster is just one of the employees who qualify for the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program, developed this year by the Authority. The program was established to reduce personnel costs and overall operation expenses. Over a five-year period, the program will save approximately $1 million dollars. Of the 10 retirees, seven are participating in the program.
In order to be eligible for the Early Retirement Program, employees must satisfy the following criteria:
- Born prior to 1 Jan 1956
- 30 or more years of satisfactory service
- Employee in good standing
- Current full-time, active status
The program will provide a health benefits plan for the employee and covered spouse for two years. Eligible employees could receive pension adjustments. Some eligible employees may be offered consultant positions to assist the Authority during the transition period.
Flash back 45 years, to 1970, when a young Bruce Frack joined the team as a mechanic. He remembers vividly the old terminal building, which also housed the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower at the time. In ’76, shortly after the new terminal was built, Frack got his feet wet working all aspects of the airfield, before later becoming the Superintendent of Maintenance in 1983. During Frack’s tenure as Superintendent, ABE received many accolades and even won the prestigious Balchen/Post Award for “outstanding achievement in airport snow and ice control”. This award was presented by the International Aviation Snow Symposium on behalf of Col. Bernt Balchen and Wilfred M. “Wiley” Post and the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (NCAAAE). Interestingly enough, a few months prior to accepting the award, Frack recollects battling the blizzard of [February] ’83. A single storm record was set that year in Allentown, coming in at just over 25” of heavy, wet snow. To this day, LVIA prides itself on it’s snow removal and ice control practices, having closed zero times in 2014 or 2015, and rarely ever in it’s history.
This veteran group of employees was instrumental to the early history of LVIA. “We are pleased to be able to offer this early retirement option to some of our valued employees; though we will miss the institutional knowledge and experience that comes with 335 years of combined service. We appreciate all of the significant contributions they made to the Authority over the years”, said Authority Executive Director, Charles Everett.
Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program Participants:
- Thomas Doster, Systems Director, 47.4 years
- Bruce Frack, Sr. Project Manager/Maintenance Superintendent, 44.5 years
- Keith Lowell, Maintenance Master Mechanic, 43.6 years
- Donald May, Firefighter, 40.6 years
- Lawrence Weiss, Operations & Safety Manager, 39.6 years
- Frank Dreher, Superintendent of Ground Transportation & Terminal Services, 38.6 years
- Elizabeth Taylor, Human Resources & Accounting Generalist, 34.2 years
- Daniel Baer, Firefighter, 28 years
- Lynette Leendertz, Customer Service Representative, 10 years
- James Kernick, Line Service Technician, 7 years
Lehigh Valley International Airport is conveniently located near Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pennsylvania and is served by Allegiant Air, Delta, United, and US Airways with 9 nonstop destinations with connections to the world. LVIA serves a twelve county area with a population base of 3.6 million people. The Airport is easily accessible from communities in eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey areas. For more information on LVIA, visit www.flyabe.com or www.facebook.com/flylvia.