Airport Safety Awards

Each year the Southern Region Airports Division will select a Air Carrier Airport Manager of the Year -- someone who in the eyes of the selection committee exemplifies excellence in airport management.

Selection criteria

The Southern Region Airports Division Commercial Service Airport Manager of the year is expected to be someone who has exhibited exceptional aviation leadership. It should be someone who has tirelessly worked to promote the aviation industry, or someone who has striven to achieve efficiencies and improved productivity with their organization. Although this is an incomplete list, the selection committee will consider factors like those below when making their selection:

  • Significant accomplishments
  • Unique displays of leadership
  • Membership in professional, civic, or fraternal organizations
  • Development initiatives
  • Awards received
  • Improvements in safety/security, or significant safety/security initiatives
  • Public affairs accomplishments
  • Significant cost-savings or efficiencies achieved

Submitting a nomination

Applications/nominations for this award will be accepted from outside the agency but are not required. The Airports Division awards committee will evaluate the actions, accomplishments, and leadership of airport managers throughout the region and will select the nominees. The nominees may be contacted and may be given the opportunity to provide additional, supplemental information to support their nomination.

Period and deadline

The period of consideration is October 1 to September 30. Packets must be received in the Airports Division office by November 30.


The award committee will use their own research, as well as information provided by the nominee, to make their selection.

Notification of award

Normally, the award committee will work to select nominees by the end of November and will finalize their selection by the end of the calendar year. The winner will then receive notification and the award presentation date will be set.

Past award winners

Past winners, Air Carrier Manager of the Year Award
Year Winner Airport City, State
2011 Peter Horton
Bob Whitmer
Key West International Airport
Owensboro-Davies County Regional Airport
Key West, FL
Owensboro, KY
2010 Eric Frankl Blue Grass Airport Lexington, KY
2009 T.J. "Jerry" Orr Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Charlotte, NC
2008 Dirk Vanderleest Jackson International Airport Jackson, MS
2007 Mike Hainsley Golden Triangle Regional Airport Columbus, MS
2006 [No awards given in 2006]    
2005 Fred Piccolo Sarasota-Brandenton International Airport Sarasota, FL
2004* Terry Anderson Tupelo Regional Airport Tupelo, MS

*In 2004, this award was called the "Commercial Service Airport Manager of the Year"