For Immediate Release

January 26, 2006
Contact: Kathleen Bergen
Phone: 404-305-5100

ATLANTA, GA — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southern Region Airports Division named Richard Lewis, Aviation Director of the Concord Regional Airport in Concord, NC, its 2005 General Aviation Airport Manager of the Year. The award is presented to an airport director who demonstrates outstanding leadership. Lewis, who was nominated by his staff, competed with other general aviation airport managers around the Southeast for the award.

Lewis has managed the airport for only three years, but it has been a period of tremendous growth. Concord Regional has become the busiest general aviation airport in North Carolina. It is the main reliever for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and it is the primary airport used by NASCAR race teams, most of which are based within a 60-mile radius of the airport. Lewis has worked tirelessly to meet the airport facility and service needs of this rapidly growing industry and to anticipate future aviation needs of all airport users. In December 2005 the airport commissioned a 1,900-foot runway extension, bringing the airport’s one runway to a safety-enhancing 7,400 feet.

“Richard Lewis sets a strong leadership example for airport directors around the country,” said Rusty Chapman, Manager, Airports Division, FAA Southern Region. "In three short years he has made a positive impact on general aviation throughout North Carolina. He is well deserving of this honor.”

Lewis serves on the national Contract Tower Advisory Board. He received the North Carolina Airports Association President’s Award in 2005.

The FAA presented the award to Lewis at the annual Southern Region Communications Conference in Atlanta on January 23.