Tim Burke, SUN’s new airport operations manager

By November 19, 2020Featured

Hometown: Boston, MA 

Brothers/sisters? I’m the baby of the family. One brother, on sister and a bunch of nieces and nephews to go along with them.

Describe your childhood home. Farm? Urban? Suburb? I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and spent most of my youth exploring the New England states.

Funniest or most embarrassing childhood story: I actually in trouble for this one… As a senior in high school, I earned myself detention for skipping class, without authorization, to take my Private Pilot FAA check ride. (Seems legit to us, Tim.)

High school activities? (Football, track, theater, debate)

I was a wrestler for all four years in high school. The rest of the year, when it wasn’t wrestling season, I’d work every day for a construction company so that I could afford flying lessons on the weekends.

Dream job: Working at an airport surrounded by mountains! I’ve landed where I need to be!

College and degree(s): Aviation Management / Aviation Flight Operations – Bridgewater State University

What drew you to choose your course of study? I knew since childhood that I was going to work in aviation. There was no mistaken my love for aviation.

Previous employer and position: I’ve worked at airports around the country, slowly and steadily advancing in responsibility and scope of my duties. My airport-specific career started with the Massachusetts Port Authority at Hanscom Field as a snow-plow driver and heavy equipment operator. From there I worked in Aspen, Colorado, San Jose, California, and Boeing Field in Seattle, WA.

What drew you to come to KSUN?

I used to ride my motorcycle past this airport on cross country trips and told myself, “I could get used to this airport!”

When the opportunity arose to work here, I knew it was something I had to pursue! (We’re glad you did.)

Hobbies, special interests, awards?

I’ve spent the last three and a half years traveling around the world on a motorcycle: Four Continents, 74 countries, and 150,000 miles. I’ve been caught in an elephant stampede, had to give way to penguins in Patagonia so they could cross the street,  got in a head-on collision in the High-Andes of Peru, traveled to both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans on the same bike! A wild journey it was! 

My photography of my travels have won awards and have appeared in magazines around the world and my written stories have been translated into four languages.

Favorite food? I’ve tasted food from around the world!.I have to say nobody can cook steak and pair it with the perfect wine like the Argentineans can. Nobody can cook seafood like the Portuguese. Nobody can convince you eat an irresponsibly large portion of tacos like the Mexicans! Oh, and the Ethiopians… Ethiopian food is out of this world.

Least favorite food? I was passing through a small coastal village in Norway on my motorcycle when I tried a local dish called, “Rakfisk.” It is fermented fish. The smell is worse than the taste. Regardless, never again.

Family (wife, partner, kids, pets) Family is everything. Almost all of mine are back in Boston and I try to get back as often as possible to see them. Of course, the current pandemic situation makes that difficult for a number of reasons.

Most played songs on your iTunes account: My Spotify is ridiculously diverse. There is no favorite as it’s kept on shuffle mode.

What I drive:  I like everything with an engine and my fleet is constantly changing. I usually have more than a few motorcycles on hand (some running, some not-yet running) There’s also usually a pickup truck in the mix to haul around the toys.

What I really want to drive: I keep asking Chris if he’ll let me use SUN’s newest and baddest Emergency Response/Rescue vehicle (a 2020 Oshkosh Striker 1500 with 4-wheel drive and full independent suspension) as my daily-driver but I haven’t been able to convince him yet. For now, I’ll just have to stick with my ol’ Toyota Tundra.

A special message to the SUN airport community:

I’m feeling lucky to join the community here in the Wood River Valley and I’m excited to bring my unique background and experiences to an already professional, effective, and efficient operation at Friedman Memorial Airport. 

I’m wasting no time in taking advantage of the beauty and recreation that the mountains of Idaho have to offer! 

 The entire airport team is nothing less than top-notch, and it is an honor to serve as the airport operations manager here.