By John S. Marshall
After nearly 30 years in the airport business, the director of Conroe’s airport is heading into retirement.
Scott Smith, who worked as the director of the Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport for nearly 10 years walked out of his spacious office with expansive views of the airport and its runways and taxiways for the last time July 28.
Instead of overseeing airport operations that include thousands of planes taking off and landing at the airport on an annual basis, the 69-year-old Smith says instead he will be working with horses on the family horse ranch, reading and playing music.
“It’s bittersweet,” Smith said, as he spoke of retirement during the last few hours on the job. “As a profession, airport management, if you like aviation, is a great profession. It’s challenging, so I will miss that.”
During the nine years and eight months at the airport, Smith has overseen work and expansion of the facility as it continues its evolution from what was once a sleepy, little airport to a regional facility now nationally recognized for helping relieve some of the pressures at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The recognition comes as more small planes land and take off in Conroe, instead of Houston’s busy airport.
In 2016, Conroe-North was named General Aviation Reliever Airport of the Year by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“That’s a real honor,” said Smith, noting that the airport was competing with hundreds of other airports for the distinction.
During Smith’s tenure as airport director, traffic at the airport has expanded in what Smith describes as a “steady climb.”
An average of about 180 planes a day take off and land at the airport now, bringing the total landings and takeoffs to about 63,000 a year.
“It’s been a real honor to serve at this airport because it’s supported politically and supported by its community,” Smith said. “And it’s been a fantastic staff, including some key county departments that have really helped us.”