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County names airport commission executive director

Johnson County Airport Commission approved the selection of Aaron Otto as the airport commission’s executive director. The decision today finalizes his selection by deputy county manager Penny Postoak Ferguson who oversees the executive director. 

Otto, of Roeland Park, currently serves as interim airport executive director and as assistant to the county manager for Johnson County.

In his new role, Otto will be responsible for working with county leadership and airport commissioners to oversee flight, railroad, water and business park operations at two of the busiest airports in Kansas — New Century AirCenter and Executive Airport.

“Aaron has shown himself to be an essential part of the Johnson County Government leadership team,” said deputy county manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. “I look forward to working with him and the airport commissioners to build on the successes of both Johnson County airports.”

Prior to joining Johnson County Government in 2015, Otto became the second-ever city administrator of Roeland Park, Kansas, where he oversaw day-to-day operations and coordinated management of all city departments.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I’m looking forward to taking on this new endeavor,” Otto said. “In the short time I’ve served in the interim role, it’s clear to me the airports and business park are vital to Johnson County and unique players in our economy.”

Otto formerly served the state of Kansas as assistant state treasurer and deputy assistant state treasurer as well as on the senior staffs of two governors and two lieutenant governors. He served at the Pentagon and on sea rotations, both in and outside the Navy, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During his time in Washington, D.C., he served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense, on the staff of the commander of the Atlantic Fleet, in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and as the shipbuilding section head for the Chief of Naval Operations.

Otto is a native of Manhattan, Kansas. He attended the London School of Economics, earned a diploma from the Naval War College, a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University. 

Otto is a member of the International City/County Management Association, Kansas Association of City/County Management and the American Society of Public Administration.  

Johnson County Airport Commission operates the third- and fourth-busiest airports in Kansas; as well as a 1,000-acre industrial park with more than 60 resident businesses and organizations and 5,000 private sector employees; a six-mile rail system that moves 1,000 cars a year; and a water system that distributes close to 200 million gallons each year.

A portrait of Otto is available online.