The Okaloosa County Airports recently welcomed Chad Rogers as their new project manager.

Rogers, who grew up in Bagdad and graduated from Pace High School, served 14 years in the United States Air Force. While in the military, he worked as a field engineer and director for Tyndall AFB and Hurlburt Field. He graduated from University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and earned his master’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I wanted to stay in my career and thought Okaloosa County Airports was a perfect fit,” Rogers said.

Rogers started in January and will oversee property projects for Bob Sikes, Destin Executive and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach airports.

“We will have intense planning sessions and set ourselves up for four or five years with projects that need to be adjusted with our recent growth,” Rogers said. “We need to make sure our projects that were programmed before match our needs now.”

Rogers thinks Bob Sikes Airport has the biggest potential for growth in infrastructure and plans on putting a lot of advertising dollars into promoting that airport to businesses.

“The plan for Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is to increase revenues and provide infrastructure for increase air service,” he said. “We want to expand the number of gates and other ventures like having a gas station on the property.”

Besides the noise wall and the air control tower, which was completed in January, Rogers said the next project planned for Destin Executive Airport is resurfacing the horizontal lines on the field.

Okaloosa County Airport’s Director Tracy Stage said the wealth of experience in major construction projects with air fields around the world is what makes Rogers a huge asset to the team.

“I am very proud of what his has done in such a short time. … He really hit the ground running,” he said. “It’s like he has been in the team for many years. … He just fits in.”