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 awarded the Columbia, SC, Metropolitan Airport the 2005 Air Carrier Airport Safety Award. The airport competed for the award with other air carrier airports throughout the Southeast.

“What really sets Columbia apart is dedication to fostering an atmosphere of “safety first” and taking a proactive approach to airport safety,” said Rusty Chapman, Manager, Airports Division, FAA Southern Region. “No issue is too small to be addressed fully by this dedicated and professional staff.”

Columbia Airport sponsored a number of initiatives in 2005 that enhanced safety awareness and operating safety on the airfield. The airport has an excellent operations department, staffed around the clock to be the nerve center of the airport, coordinating security, safety and communications activities in a central location. The operations staff created a mandatory driver-training program, which has greatly enhanced airfield safety. Airport employees, tenants and users can access the program on the airport’s website.

The airport hosts monthly safety and security committee meetings and has hired and maintained a competent, trained and professional staff of airport rescue firefighters, maintenance technicians and operations coordinators.

FAA announced the award at the FAA’s annual Southern Region Communications Conference in Atlanta on January 23.