Malloy names Tony Sheridan chairman of state airport authority

Eastern Connecticut now has a voice in state aviation.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday that Tony Sheridan, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, has been appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees operations at Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general-aviation facilities, including Groton-New London Airport.

“Hopefully, my appointment will make a difference (for eastern Connecticut),” Sheridan said. “I have a keen interest in Groton-New London, which represents an enormous opportunity. I hope to work on that and other issues.”

Commercial passenger service to and from Groton-New London ceased more than a decade ago.

Sheridan said he’s also looking forward to having Bradley International play a greater role in attracting international tourism to the state and the region.

“Bringing in Aer Lingus was a big boost,” he said, referring to Ireland’s national airline, which began operating direct flights between Bradley and Dublin in the fall of 2016.

Last year, Sheridan and state Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, joined a group of state and local tourism officials who flew from Bradley to Dublin and Manchester, England, to promote eastern Connecticut attractions to foreign tourism operators. Sheridan said the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has followed up with those operators, emailing them promotional material the chamber produced.

Malloy, who introduced the 2011 legislation that created the Connecticut Airport Authority, called Sheridan’s appointment “a natural fit.”

“I am confident that his experience and leadership capabilities will further the impressive efforts that the group has managed since its founding,” the governor said.

Eleven volunteers serve on the authority's board of directors.

Malloy noted that Bradley International — the second largest airport in New England — marked its fifth consecutive year of year-over-year passenger growth in 2017 and was rated the fifth-best airport in the nation by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Sheridan, a former Waterford first selectman, has been a human resources director at Connecticut College in New London, a consultant with Northeast Utilities and a manager of community relations at the Millstone nuclear power complex. Earlier in his career, he served as an apprentice in Local 305 of the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters and became a licensed plumber and pipe fitter. He has a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and a master’s degree from the University of New Haven.

Sheridan succeeds Charles R. Gray, whose term as the CAA board chairman ended Saturday.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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