For Immediate Release

January 27, 2006
Contact: Kathleen Bergen
Phone: 404-305-5100

ATLANTA, GA – The Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region has recognized Patrick S. Graham, Executive Director of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, with its highest honor, The Kitty Hawk Award. The award recognizes FAA employees and industry professionals who have made significant contributions to aviation in the southeast.

Graham is the 12th person to receive the Kitty Hawk Award since its 2002 inception, and he is only the second industry recipient.

“Patrick Graham is a decisive leader who continues to develop Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport as one of the most progressive and fastest growing airports in the southeast,” said Carolyn Blum, FAA Southern Regional Administrator. “His commitment extends beyond the airport boundaries to the Savannah business community and to other airports around the region.”

Graham is a founding member of the Southeast Airports Disaster Organization Group (SEADOG), a volunteer group of 13 airports that provide first-responder assistance when major disasters strike airports in the southeast. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Graham dispatched Savannah airport staff and equipment to Gulf Coast airports, where they were the first to arrive with critically needed management, law enforcement, and technical aid to restore airports to operation so they could accept critically needed relief flights.

“Graham’s vision and personal efforts have profoundly benefited the safe operation of airports throughout the region,” Blum said. “FAA is proud to present the Kitty Hawk Award to such an outstanding leader.”

Graham is a member of the boards of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau and Leadership Savannah. He is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives and is past-president of the Georgia Airports Association, the Southeastern Airport Manager Association and The Airport Council International – North America.

“I am grateful to the FAA, especially Carolyn Blum, for selecting me to receive this prestigious honor,” Graham said. “The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport’s dedicated, professional staff, along with a very cooperative airport board and Savannah City Council enable me to participate fully and be a leader in the aviation industry.”

Blum presented the award to Graham at the annual Airports Communications Conference in Atlanta on January 23.