Somerton Airport

Somerton, Arizona (54AZ)
Airport Manager
Eric Saltzer

Unicom: 123.00

(Phone) 928-580-5618
(Fax) 928-722-5724

Physical Address

3900 W US Hwy 95
Somerton, AZ, 85350

Unicom: 123.00

Yuma Sun Article

Retiring MCAS Yuma engineering director honored as civilian Marine'
By Joyce Lobeck, Sun Business Editor
April 8, 2006

        The occasion was billed as a farewell luncheon for Charles Saltzer, longtime engineering director at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. With Saltzer's friend and co-worker Tom Manfredi at the microphone, it quickly became a roast.

        There were stories about Saltzer's rubber bands around his wallet. Were they, as Saltzer maintained, a hinderance to pick pockets? Or, as Manfredi suggested, spare parts for Saltzer's 1946 airplane? Whichever story is true, Saltzer now has extra rubber bands. They were but part of the tributes and gifts he was presented with during the luncheon Friday at MCAS Pueblo Club attended by more than 100 people, both military and civilian who had worked with Saltzer during the 33 years he served on the air station. Among them were three retired MCAS commanders, Mack Luckie, John Hudson and Bill Cheatham.

        Saltzer also was presented with the U.S. flag that had flown at the air station on March 26. "He's touched the lives of many," noted Col. Ben Hancock, MCAS commander. "He's left his mark here." During his 33 years at MCAS, Saltzer oversaw an estimated half-billion dollars in construction and improvement projects at the air station.

        In his biography, Saltzer noted, "I have been privileged to have played a part in the development and naming of the 15-acre Thomas Meyers Memorial Park, the purchase of 1,681 acres of land on the south side of the station boundary, the upgrading and requirement for professional registration in the engineering division staff, the development of the station perimeter bike and jogging path, the extensive military construction effort for the Harrier aircraft arrival, the upgrade of the station infrastructure, the city of Yuma water inter-tie and the station's one-way streets." But his retirement from MCAS doesn't mean Saltzer won't be setting his alarm anymore. "I'm not really retiring," he said. "At 7 a.m. Monday I plan to be driving to the Somerton Airport." There, he said, he gets to be the chief executive officer. Saltzer bought what he refers to as "Yuma's second largest airport" about five years ago and intends to devote his time to its operation.

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