Pilot, business owner Stokes announces run for Lincoln Airport Authority

A pilot and small-business owner is the second person to announce a candidacy for the Lincoln Airport Authority.

Chris Stokes, who is a commercial airline pilot and a retired Air Force pilot, said one of his main goals is improving commercial air service in Lincoln.


The Blue Angels flew into Lincoln on Monday to kick off the official planning process for the Guardians of Freedom Airshow scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the Lincoln Airport.



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“I am running because Lincoln needs a business and aviation professional with 28 years of airline industry experience to turn the tides and attract major airlines back to Lincoln,” Stokes said in a news release.

Stokes, who is 53 and has lived in Lincoln for the past 35 years, is a pilot for United Airlines. He also spent 34 years flying for the Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel.

He also has owned several small businesses, including OMALink, the airport shuttle company he founded and ran for more than a decade before selling it in 2013.

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In addition to attracting more commercial air service at the airport, Stokes, who is a registered Republican, said that if elected, he would work to attract a major air cargo company, expand military use of the airport and open up additional hangar space for general aviation users.

“When cities like Lincoln have strong aviation presences, our communities become prospects for new business opportunities, homes for major organizations and prosperous with new jobs and economic opportunities for working families,” he said in the news release.

Stokes earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a master’s degree in leadership studies from Bellevue University.

He joins Nathan Janulewicz, a Democrat, as announced candidates for two open seats on the Airport Authority for the city election this spring. Both incumbents, Zachary Mora James and Richard Nuernberger, have said they do not plan to run for reelection.

Those interested in running for a seat have until March 3 to file for the April 4 primary election. Up to four candidates would advance to the May 2 general election. The terms are for six years.


The Blue Angels flew into Lincoln on Monday to kick off the official planning process for the Guardians of Freedom Airshow scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the Lincoln Airport.



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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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