For Immediate Release

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

ATLANTA, GA – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southern Region Airports Division has selected Fredrick J. Piccolo, President and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport as the 2005 Commercial Service Airport Manager of the Year in the region. Piccolo competed for this award with other managers of commercial service airports around the Southeast.

Under Piccolo’s leadership, the airport has completed many significant projects to increase safety, efficiency and security. Some of these initiatives include: extending the airport’s primary runway 2,500 feet to 9,500 feet with parallel taxiways for enhanced safety in operations; completed a $4.2 million technologically-advanced Security and Access Control Project; and developed a common use passenger processing system which provides computerized ticket counter and gate equipment for passenger processing. The airport owns and maintains the equipment and charges the airlines a per-passenger fee. The passenger-screening checkpoint was expanded in 2005 with a 6.500-square-foot addition to expedite clearing of travelers for their flights.

The airport installed emergency generators to provide electrical power for the terminal and entire airfield if commercial power fails. In addition, the airport has low power costs and sells power to the local utility during peak periods.

A Department of Transportation Small Community Air Service grant acquired under Piccolo’s leadership, resulted in low cost air service from Sarasota to major metropolitan airports in the northeast, south, and midwest. Passenger traffic has grown 18 percent and seasonal traffic from Canada has increased 200 percent in the past year.

“Fred Piccolo has been instrumental in the long-term success of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. His tenure has been marked by sustained growth and excellence,” said Rusty Chapman, Manager, Airports Division, FAA Southern Region. "His tireless leadership serves as an inspiration to aviation professionals throughout the nation."

Piccolo’s leadership extends beyond his responsibilities at Sarasota. He is past-president of the Florida Airport Managers Association, and currently serves as vice-chair of Airports Council International-North America, and is on the board of directors of ACI-World.

The FAA’s Southern Region includes eight Southeastern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The FAA presented the award to Piccolo at the annual Airports Communications Conference in Atlanta on January 23.