Delaware Coastal Airport will have a new face in the cockpit later this year.
Sussex County officials announced on Tuesday, July 16, that Eric A. Littleton of Bridgeville will take the controls as manager of airport and business park operations this October when current manager Jim Hickin retires after 12 years of service.
Littleton was selected from a field of five candidates for the job that oversees day-to-day operations of the complex near Georgetown, which sees some 35,000 landings and takeoffs annually from a variety of aircraft.
Littleton comes to Sussex County after having worked in various roles since 2006 at the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where he has served as an air traffic controller, surveillance coordinator/recovery director, and assistant airport manager for NASA, and most recently as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport unmanned aerial systems (UAS) airfield manager for the Authority.
“As a Sussex County native, I am excited for the opportunity to join the airport team, continuing my career in aviation as the manager of the Delaware Coastal Airport and Business Park,” Littleton said. “I look forward to working with the county and FAA while maintaining the legacy of this local asset, and bolstering the facility infrastructure to prepare us for an evolving industry.”
County officials said Littleton’s background in various capacities with the spaceport and NASA, his ability to develop policies, educational programs and manage projects, his familiarity in working with the Federal Aviation Administration and regional airport operators, and, more recently, his understanding of UAS systems and the future potential it represents to aviation and economic development, made him the ideal candidate for the post.
Littleton, who holds certifications from the Community College of the Air Force, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Airport Councils International, and the FAA, began his work with Sussex County on July 15. He is expected to work closely with Hickin for the next few months before taking over full-time as airport manager later this fall.