Bob Martin, who has served as administrator of the Division of Aeronautics the past five years, announced his retirement from the position effective Friday, Dec. 15.
Martin, a veteran aviation administrator with nearly four decades of experience, joined the transportation department April 16, 2001, following a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Forest Service. While at the federal agency he served as assistant director for fire and aviation management in Washington, D.C., and was the national aviation safety and training branch chief for 10 years.
His flying experience dates to 1974 when he earned his pilot’s license.
“I want to thank Bob for his contributions to the aviation industry and for his service to the citizens of Idaho,” Bower said. “We wish him well in his retirement and other pursuits.”
Bower hopes to name an acting division administrator as soon as possible while a formal search is conducted to fill the position.
General aviation in Idaho and the department’s Aeronautics Division have grown significantly during Martin’s tenure. The state maintains a unique and robust network of backcountry airports that serve federal and state agencies, the agricultural industry and recreation.
The Aeronautics Division, through long-term agreements with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, manages 17 airports located on federal land.
Under Martin’s leadership, the division successfully fought a proposed revision to the Forest Service management plan that would have closed four backcountry airstrips to public use.
Also during his tenure, the division launched a comprehensive study of long-range airstrip improvement and funding needs. The Air Transportation Investment Forum will serve as a planning resource to provide improvements resulting from Idaho’s emergence as a major economic center and its rapid population growth since 2000.
The Aeronautics Division promotes air travel in Idaho through programs to improve airports, increase traveler safety and develop aviation careers.
Among the programs sponsored or supported by the division are: