Yuma International Airport is a triple winner

Yuma International Airport is a triple winner

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
May 25, 2021

Winning is one thing, but winning three times? That's quite the honor! 

That's what happened recently when the Yuma International Airport was named the 2021 Arizona Airport of the Year. 

ADOT's Aeronautics Group had previously bestowed the same honor to the Yuma Airport in 2015 and 1998. In the photo to the right, Yuma Airport Director Gladys Brown is pictured with this year's sign.  

"Every spring we award an Arizona Airport of the Year," said Matthew Munden, State Airport Engineer ADOT-Aeronautics. "Some have won it twice, but only a few have won it three times each." 

There are 67 Arizona airports eligible to apply for the title.

The Yuma airport earned high marks for activities in the community, classroom, military, fundraising, and education, to name a few, and has a rich list of accomplishments, including aviation advocacy, economic development and airport maintenance activities, according to their application.

"They really knocked it out of the park with their application," Munden said. "They provide community outreach, collaboration, effective management and have an exceptionally secure, safe facility." 

As you can see in the photo, Gladys Brown, Yuma airport director, is thrilled with the honor. 

According to the airport's website, aviation enthusiasts have enjoyed flying in Yuma since Robert Fowler first landed there in 1911: 

In 1925, the Yuma Chamber of Commerce helped secure land for an airport in Yuma and in 1928 President Calvin Coolidge signed the Yuma Aviation Bill and Fly Field was born.

The Chamber's aviation committee started lining up transcontinental and international air races where aviation greats such as Amelia Earhart competed. In 1939, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors recommended Fly Field as a base for the Army Air Corps, which began Yuma's rich history in Military Aviation. In 1949, local pilots Bob Woodhouse and Woody Jongeward flew 1,124 hours of continuous flight known as the "Endurance Flight" in an effort to encourage the military to have a permanent presence in Yuma. Their mission was a success!

The three most recent Arizona Airport of the Year recipients are: 2020, Prescott Regional Airport; 2019, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport; and 2018, Falcon Field Airport. 

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