Kevan Smith, A.A.E., the Chief of Public Safety at Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), is retiring after 30 years of service at the airport.
His three decades at the airport have included major growth and expansion, significant changes to the safety and security procedures in aviation, life-altering events such as 9-11 and the current pandemic, and always the daily operational duties and challenges that come with airport safety and security.
Chief Smith started his career at AVL in early 1991 as a public safety officer, and quickly moved his way up to Lieutenant, then Captain, and finally Chief – a position he has held for the past six years. Chief Smith’s dedication to the airport, the importance of public safety and to his fellow team members will be missed.
“Chief Smith is a tireless advocate for public safety, and has led the airport’s police and aircraft rescue and fire fighting initiatives well. He has always been a person who works to achieve excellence, and helps others become the best they can be in their roles,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director. “The public safety program at AVL has grown and improved under Chief Smith’s leadership, and he has tough shoes to fill. On behalf of the Airport Authority, best wishes to our colleague in his retirement.”
Chief Smith’s distinguished career in public safety and aviation has included numerous certifications and awards. Most recently, Smith earned his Accreditation with the American Association of Airport Executives, a distinction held by only 10% of airport executives nationwide.
Throughout his career, he has shared his expertise and passion about the airport and public safety through additional service in the community. Some highlights include: 36 years on the Transylvania County Rescue Squad, adjunct teacher at local community colleges, teaching fire, rescue and incident command courses; reserve officer with the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Department for 29 years; board member for Blue Ridge Honor Flight; and member of Henderson County and Buncombe County epidemiology teams.