Airport Safety Awards

Each year the Southern Region Airports Division will select a Commercial Service 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 General Aviation 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 general aviation 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, General Aviation Manager of the Year Award
Year Winner Airport City, State
2011 John Black Smyrna Airport Smyrna, TN
2010 Charlie Weller Leesburg International Airport Leesburg, FL
2009 Michael Handrahan Kendall-Tamiami Airport Miami, FL
2008 Joe Frasher Greenville Downtown Airport Greenville, SC
2007 Walter Cathey General DeWitt Spain Airport, Charles W. Baker Airport Memphis, TN
2006 [No awards given in 2006]    
2005 Richard Lewis Concord Regional Airport Concord, NC
2004 Clara Bennett Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport Ft. Lauderdale, FL