A recent college graduate with a focus on airport management has taken over the controls as interim manager of the Ottawa Municipal Airport.

Bryce Rea, a December 2012 graduate of the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Mo., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in airport management, Richard Nienstedt, Ottawa city manager, said.

Rea started at the airport Jan. 24. He was attending meetings out of town and was unavailable for an interview Monday afternoon. Rea is scheduled to be back at the airport Thursday, and Nienstedt said Rea would be introduced to Ottawa city commissioners at their study session at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.

Originally from Oswego, Rea is expected to handle some of the administrative duties and serve as the contact person at the airport, 2178 Montana Road, about three miles southeast of Ottawa, until a permanent fixed-based operator can be hired, Nienstedt said.

The city is looking for an operator to succeed Chuck LeMaster, 80, who resigned in mid-December. City officials have said they would like to have the new operator on board sometime this spring. Father-and-son team Lloyd and Mark Switzer, who helped LeMaster operate the airport, also agreed to stay on to help out at the airport, Nienstedt said in a previous interview.

City staff and representatives of the airport advisory board will solicit fixed-base operatorsí proposals, review each one, interview potential candidates and prepare an analysis of each proposal, which then will be submitted to the Ottawa City Commission for final approval.

Rea is scheduled to be at the airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Nienstedt said.