SBA eNewsletter - Oct. 1, 2021 - SBA Oversees Successful Governance Review and Transfer for Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Michigan
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In This Issue

  • Cherry Capital Airport: SBA announces the successful governance review and transfer of its long-time client the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City, Michigan, moving from a two-County Commission structure to a Regional Airport Authority. 

Steven Baldwin Associates Oversees Successful Governance Review and Transfer For Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan

L to R: Nathan Alger, County Administrator, Grand Traverse County; Robert Hentschel, Commission Chair, Grand Traverse County; Douglas DeYoung, Chair, Northwest Regional Airport Authority; William Bunek, Commission Chair, Leelanau County; Debra Rushton, Commissioner, Leelanau County; Chet Janik, County Administrator, Leelanau County; and Kevin Klein, CEO Northwest Regional Airport Authority & Cherry Capital Airport.

Traverse City, MI (October 1, 2021) — Steven Baldwin Associates (SBA), one of the nation’s top aviation consulting firms, announced that it has overseen the successful governance transfer application of the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City, Michigan, which was submitted to and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) effective today. The Airport’s form of governance will move from the previous two-County Commission structure to an independent Regional Airport Authority. 
Steven Baldwin, President/CEO of SBA, noted that this was the firm’s fourth recent FAA approval for a governance transfer for its clients; and it is the second in Michigan following the 2016 governance transfer for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. SBA is the foremost consulting firm in the country for aviation governance reviews and subsequent successful FAA transfer applications. Other airports that the firm has recently assisted in governance reviews and transfers include Syracuse Hancock International Airport in New York; Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan; Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina; and today the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City. 
In addition, SBA has conducted many other governance reviews and analyses for a wide variety of airports including Battle Creek Airport in Michigan (in progress), Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire, Lynchburg Regional Airport in Virginia, and St. Cloud Regional Airport in Minnesota, among others. 
“We would like to congratulate our client the Northwest Regional Airport Authority on this important milestone. We are honored to be their valued business partner and help them achieve this important goal,” stated Mr. Baldwin. “Getting FAA approval to transfer ownership and operation of the Cherry Capital Airport from the previous bi-County Commission to the new Authority will allow TVC to operate more efficiently and effectively while supporting their strategic goals to increase growth and revenue.”
The TVC governance transfer was an outgrowth of a comprehensive strategic planning process SBA conducted for the airport beginning in 2017. An initial review of the then-current governance structure (where the airport was owned and operated jointly by Grand Traverse County and Leelanau County) highlighted some operational issues that warranted further analysis. An in-depth governance review followed with extensive stakeholder coordination and input, which resulted in the Commission recommending a transfer to a Regional Airport Authority to the two owner Counties. After community input, the Counties supported the recommendation for a transfer and SBA began work with all parties involved to develop the extensive materials necessary for the application. The application was submitted to the FAA in August and approved in September for an effective date of October 1, 2021.

 L to R: Kevin Klein, CEO Northwest Regional Airport Authority & Cherry Capital Airport; Douglas DeYoung, Chair, Northwest Regional Airport Authority;

“I’d like to thank the Baldwin team—along with everyone involved—for their help achieving this important goal,” said Kevin Klein, Chief Executive Officer of the NRAA and TVC. “The transition to a regional Authority will allow the Cherry Capital Airport to have a greater focus on key strategic initiatives and operate at the highest levels of effectiveness, especially regarding aviation growth as well as non-aeronautical revenue development.” 

Mr. Baldwin noted that SBA was happy to facilitate the transition to the new Authority for TVC, and that SBA looks forward to a continued partnership with the airport as it begins its new tenure under the Authority.

For more information about SBA, its governance work, and other services, please visit the firm’s website at
About Steven Baldwin Associates

Steven Baldwin Associates (SBA) is a nationally recognized airport management consulting firm that specializes in the managerial, organizational, and governmental review of airports to ensure optimal performance. The firm focuses solely on airport management consulting for airport operators, owners, and policy makers. As a leader in developing best practices in contemporary airport management, the aviation professionals at SBA have decades of hands-on experience running airports and consulting for them. 

The firm performs a wide variety of services including strategic planning, governance review, organizational assessment, performance benchmarking, revenue optimization, and executive recruitment, among other services, to help airports expand and increase revenue sources, be more cost competitive, employ best practices, increase operational excellence, and improve customer service excellence.

For more information, contact us at (518) 478-6321 ext. 101 or, or visit our website at
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