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Asheville airport names new public safety chief

 ASHEVILLE — Kevan Smith has been promoted to chief of public safety by the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority.

Smith brings more than 25 years of public safety experience to the airport, and has been a member of the airport's department of public safety since 1991. Starting as a public safety officer, Smith worked his way up to public safety training officer, and then to captain in 2004, a role in which he managed the daily operations of the public safety department, the security program and staff training.

Smith holds numerous special certifications, including an Advanced Law Enforcement Certification from the NC Department of Justice, Firefighter Level II and Technical Rescuer Certifications from the NC Department of Insurance and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, an Advanced Safety Certificate from the National Safety Council and Leadership 1, 2 and 3 certifications from the National Fire Academy. In addition to these certifications, Smith is a certified Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) Trainer with the American Association of Airport Executives and the Federal Aviation Administration, he is an Airport Security Coordinator, an Incident Command Instructor certified by the NC Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and is a trained Emergency Medical Technician.

"Kevan has been a valuable employee and excellent member of the public safety team for more than 20 years," said Lew Bleiweis, executive director of Asheville Regional Airport. "I am pleased to welcome him to the senior management team at the Airport Authority, and look forward to his leadership of the department of public safety."

A native resident of Western North Carolina, Smith's civic involvement has been extensive throughout the years, and he is currently a member of the Transylvania County Rescue Squad and the Transylvania County Democratic Men's Club.