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Aviation Group Selects Ardmore Municipal as State’s Top Airport for 2012

Ardmore Municipal Airport was named the 2012 “Airport of the Year” on Tuesday by the Oklahoma Airport Operators Association during an aviation partnership conference in Tulsa.

Other award recipients recognized during the partnership conference included Joyce Benge with Barnard Dunkelberg & Company of Tulsa, who received the Pioneer Award, and HW Lochner, Inc. with offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, which received the Corporate Award. In addition, Curtis Brown, project manager for Garver, LLC of Norman, was presented with the President’s Award.

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission and the Airports Division of the Federal Aviation Administration's Southwest Region were also recognized for their continued support of airport improvements across the state and region.

"I didn’t know who was actually nominated, but I knew we were,” said Ardmore Municipal Airport Manager Chris Bryant. “There are a lot of good airports and airport managers out there, so I didn’t think we would get it. I was definitely surprised and happy when I heard our name announced.”

Bryant said the successes at Ardmore Municipal Airport over the last several years can be credited to a variety of groups and individuals.

"It’s really a community effort. It’s the City of Ardmore and the City Commission supporting us. It’s the city manager, JD Spohn, Ardmore Development Authority President Wes Stucky and the rest of the board supporting us, as well as the businesses out here at the airport allowing us to achieve our goals. The FAA and the Aeronautics Commission have also been extremely helpful to us, and we greatly appreciate their support,” Bryant said.

Several projects that have recently been completed at the airport may have played a role in the airport’s selection as airport of the year, Bryant said. Topping the list were the recent completions of the new 9,000-foot runway and a micro-surfacing project. An airfield drainage project is also in the works, along with several other projects including repaving both taxiway alpha and the tarmac, Bryant said.

The partnership conference, which was hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission and the OAOA, marked the first time ever that the three organizations pulled their resources together to host one conference. The event brought together airport operators and administrators, aviation professionals and consultants, as well as local, state and federal public officials from a five-state region to focus on civil aviation issues facing the country, the effective administration of airports and making airports economic engines. The theme for the conference was “Building Aviation Through Partnerships.”

Conference organizers said nearly 350 people attended the three-day event, including representatives from more than 30 exhibitors.

OAOA’s mission and goals are to:

• Promote and encourage the public's understanding of the value of aviation and airports to the community.
• Promote safety in the development of airport facilities and operating procedures.
• Provide for the exchange of ideas, methods, information and experience as related to the operation and management of airports.
• Support academic endeavors of the membership and the aviation education programs in the State of Oklahoma.
• Provide a unified voice for airports within the state to local, state, and federal agencies as well as to the state Legislature and Congress on all proposed and pending legislation relating to aviation.

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Ardmore Airport of Year 2012
Ardmore Municipal Airport Manager Chris Bryant, third from left, accepts the 2012 “Airport of the Year” award during the FAA-OAOA-OAC Partnership Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 29, in Tulsa. Standing alongside Bryant are, from left, OAOA’s Dan Ohnesorge, Don Nuzum and Gary Johnson.