For Immediate Release

Release No. ASW 03-03
March 6, 2003
Contact: John Clabes, Roland Herwig
Phone: (405) 954-7500

FORT WORTH — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today honored seven airports in the five-state Southwest Region. Awards were announced during the annual regional airports partnership conference at the Creeks at Beechwood Hotel and in Fort Worth, Texas. The region includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

For the first time, there will be an award recognizing the best-managed passenger facility charge program in the region. The elements judged include the application for PFC authority, the quarterly report, the year-end closeout report and the level of compliance with audit requirements. The category joins other special awards for safety and environmental excellence.

In each of the five states, the FAA named a 2002 Airport of the Year to recognize outstanding airport contributions to an enhanced aviation system.

“This centennial year of powered flight is a historical backdrop as we recognize airport owners and operators who have worked in a spirit of cooperation with the FAA and the entire aviation community,” Naomi L. Saunders, FAA Regional Airports Division Manager, told participants. Saunders noted that this cooperation is vital “to accomplish our common objectives of providing a safe and efficient airports system as we chart the next century of flight.”

Year 2002 Outstanding Airport Awards went to: Fort Smith Regional Airport, Arkansas; Acadiana Regional Airport, Louisiana; Santa Fe Municipal Airport, New Mexico; Elk City Municipal Airport, Oklahoma; and El Paso International Airport, Texas. Owners of these airports were recognized for overall diligence in the planning and implementation of projects, airport maintenance, use of airport improvement program resources, and compliance with safety standards.

The FAA region’s Airport Safety Award for 2002 went to the El Paso International Airport, Texas. The award recognizes one airport in the region for outstanding contribution and commitment to aviation safety. The airport’s performance in support of aviation safety initiatives significantly contributed to assuring the efficiency of safe travel in the Southwest Region and the National Airspace System.

The regional Environmental Achievement Award went to the Stuttgart Municipal Airport, Arkansas. The award recognizes environmental stewardship in the airports industry. The award acknowledges those in the industry who have gone above and beyond the requirements of today’s environmental regulations. It recognizes those who have truly taken to heart concepts embracing the protection, conservation, and enhancement of our environment.

The outstanding Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Management Program Award for 2002 went to the City of Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport. The new award recognizes overall management of this Congressional enabling legislation which allows commercial airports to collect from $1 to $4.50 per boarding passenger for airport-related projects that preserve or enhance safety, capacity or security, reduce noise, or enhance competition among carriers. Thirty-seven of 54 eligible airports in the region are currently collecting a PFC.