Gary Cyr, left, and airport board member Jim Enyart, at Gary's retirement bash
Today the airport bids farewell to Gary Cyr. Late today he's climbing in his overloaded truck and driving to Greeley, CO. Gary came to the airport in 1995. Since then he's served as assistant director, and director of aviation. During his tenure he directed the largest capital improvement program in the airport’s history, culminating with completion of the midfield terminal in 2009. Other projects included a new fire station, fuel farm, taxiway, and rental car facility.
From Springfield Gary moves to the Greeley-Weld County Airport Authority, in Greeley, Colorado, where he’ll serve as airport manager. He says he wasn't planning to leave Springfield for another five or six years, but when this opportunity came up the Cyr family couldn't pass it up. As he put it, "We’ve always planned to move back to Colorado, our first home.”
2007: Gary meets the press during construction of the midfield terminal
Gary will tell you he was born “out of time.” His co-workers would agree. It’s not hard to imagine him riding the prairie with a cattle drive in the in the mid 19th-century with a six-shooter on his hip. Interestingly enough, those qualities make him uniquely qualified to run airports — his horse trading skills are legendary. Recently he coaxed $14.8 million in federal stimulus money from the feds for a new airport taxiway. 337 airports received stimulus money. 332 airports got less money than Springfield. As Gary would say, “I was all over that like white on rice. I cut a fat hog!” Dave Nokes, airport police supervisor, sums up the Cyr experience this way: “He drinks weak coffee (I find surprising for a cowboy) and some of his sayings I like the best could not be printed. Great boss and I enjoyed working for him. A straight shooter — I liked that, but did not care for his coffee."
Staff presents Gary with a Flyspringfield 757