December 2013 – Keeping our airport safe, looking great, and running smoothly, is critical to airport operations. And, Mick Osborne is the man that fits the bill. Below is a brief summary of his story and responsibilities at Tulip City Air Service, FBO at West Michigan Regional Airport.

Mick 1

Mick’s interest in aviation began early and he received his private pilot’s license at the age of 17. His training took place in the aviation ground school located in the back of the barn that served as the FBO airport office and combination hangar. “My first job at the airport was washing airplanes on weekends,” said Mick.

“Now, Mick’s official position is Director of Line Services and Assistant A/P Manager, and he is the reason the airport’s appearance is always excellent and for the special remarks we receive from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) airport inspectors after each yearly inspection,” explained Ron Ludema, President of Tulip City Air Service and FBO. “After 41 years on the job, Mick is responsible for making sure we constantly receive these great compliments.”

Mick’s responsibilities include everything that needs to be done outside and some inside work from moving and storage of aircraft, fueling and deicing aircraft,

baggage handling, snowplowing and mowing, buildings and grounds maintenance, airport lighting and equipment maintenance, and more. He supervises and trains a crew of seven full- and part-time workers.

(Tulip City Airport Charter Flight Photo)

“My favorite part of the job is the person-to-person contact. I like to anticipate our customers’ needs and deliver before they ask. I work in all weather conditions. If the runway needs plowing, I’m up at 2:30 a.m. getting the crew ready. If I’m not working, I’m on 24-hour call. Customer service is our priority,” said Mick.

On the social side, Mick has welcomed two presidents to WMRA, President Gerald R. Ford and President Barack Obama, and also a variety of celebrities.