ML Businessman, Pilot Named New Port Commissioner

May 15, 2018

MOSES LAKE — Darrin Jackson wants taxpayers and residents to know more about what the Port of Moses Lake does.

After all, property owners in and around Moses Lake pay for the port.

“Make the cities of Grant County prosper; that is what the port is here for,” Jackson said. “If we aren’t prospering, then we’re not doing something right.”

Jackson became the port’s third commissioner on Monday following the resignation of longtime port commissioner and Moses Lake resident Mike Conley earlier this year.

“We now have three commissioners,” said Commissioner Kent Jones. “I can feel the workload lightening already.”

Jackson, who is 50, was one of two applicants for the position. He will serve the remaining two years of Conley’s term, and then face election in 2019.

Jackson comes to the port after a lifetime in general aviation, as a pilot, mechanic and businessman in Moses Lake and Grant County.

He currently heads up the Grant County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, has continued his father’s crop spraying business and owns a small flight school located at the Moses Lake Municipal Airport.

“I grew up at this airport,” Jackson told the Columbia Basin Herald. “My father was an aerial sprayer, and in the winter, we’d rebuild airplanes together — Corsairs, B-25s, T-28s.”

As a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Jackson said he spent “many nights and days” drilling in the parking lot of the Grant County International Airport.

Having spent much of his life in and around airplanes, Jackson said he has a pretty good idea what’s going on in the field of aviation. He also sees serving on the Port Commission as one more way he can contribute to life in Moses Lake.

“This is an opportunity to give back to the community and serve something I love, which is aviation,” he said.