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Yuma International Airport named 2015 Airport of the Year

Yuma International Airport named 2015 Airport of the Year

May 6, 2015

PHOENIX — Long established with a history of serving both civilians and military personnel, the Yuma International Airport staff prides itself on stellar customer service and programs to improve airport operations within the Yuma community. In winning this award, the airport is being recognized for its outstanding service and accomplishments over the past year.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has named the Yuma International Airport as the 2015 Airport of the Year. The award was presented to the airport director and staff at the Arizona Airports Association annual conference this week in Lake Havasu City.

“The Yuma County Airport Authority Board of Directors truly feels this award represents the hardworking and dedicated airport team who do their best every day to make our airport one of the best around,” said Board President Ron Rice. “The airport staff has developed programs to enhance and help our customers, tenants, military partners and general aviation. It is wonderful for the airport to get recognized by ADOT as the Airport of the Year, and we are proud of our entire team here at Yuma International Airport.”

The Yuma County Airport Authority manages the Yuma International Airport. The airport is also home to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. As a facility that serves both passengers and military servicemen and women, the airport has been recognized for the many programs and services it offers, in addition to its daily operations. These programs include welcome home celebrations for troops, airport tours for students of all ages, outreach to encourage careers in the aviation industry, and the establishment of a military comfort center within the airport terminal. 

“This moment is something our airport staff has worked for every day to earn,” said Airport Director Gladys Wiggins. “I was asked what makes us so special. My answer is: We are special because we care, we listen, and we think of solutions that benefit our flying community. We have a great airport because of our dedicated team and the support we receive from our community. On behalf of the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Colonel Martinez, and myself, we are honored to be recognized as ADOT’s 2015 Airport of the Year. It confirms our efforts toward strengthening relationships with our aviation partners, investment in outreach programs, providing care and comfort to our troops, and an ever-increasing emphasis on customer service and safety.”

Some of the airport’s major successes and accomplishments over the past year include:

  • Defense Contractor Complex: The Yuma County Airport Authority created the Defense Contractor Complex and constructed hangar facilities in an effort to support aviation training and testing within the Yuma region. The Airport Authority provides facilities and support services to major companies within the aviation industry, such as Boeing, L-3, Beechcraft, Honda Jet, NASA, Gulfstream, Pratt & Whitney, and various military units.
  • Terminal apron rehabilitation: The Airport Authority received a grant from ADOT for the rehabilitation of the airport’s terminal apron. The project was awarded to local engineers and contractors and was completed in four months.
  • Defense Contractor Complex apron construction: The Airport Authority received a grant from ADOT and the Federal Aviation Administration for the construction of the Defense Contractor Complex Apron 2, which is a large concrete apron located in the southwest corner of the airfield. The project was awarded to local engineers and contractors and was completed in 10 months.
  • Rolle Field master plan: Through a grant from ADOT, the Airport Authority continues its work to facilitate a new master plan for Rolle Field, with the goal to provide a safer and more pleasant environment for the future of aviation in Yuma County.
  • 2014 Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Air Show: The Airport Authority is one of the largest sponsors of the air show and provides booths for organizations to promote their programs throughout Yuma County.
  • NASA and the Orion Launch Watch Site: NASA is one of the airport’s tenants and conducts parachute testing for the Orion Space Program at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. The airport was named as an official launch watch site due to the work conducted on the program in Yuma.

ADOT presented airport staff with a plaque at the awards ceremony in Lake Havasu City. A sign will be erected near the airport announcing Yuma International Airport as the 2015 Airport of the Year.

While there are 114 airports across Arizona, 83 airports — including 11 privately owned airfields and 14 Native American-owned airports — are identified in ADOT’s system of airports. These 83 airports vary in size and serve different functions in meeting Arizona’s aviation and economic needs. Arizona’s total economic impact from this system of airports is $58 billion annually, according to ADOT research. ADOT works with 65 of the 83 airports throughout the federal and state grant process as part of the Airport Development Program.

ADOT’s Aeronautics Group within the Multimodal Planning Division accepts applications and nominations for the Airport of the Year. The Aeronautics Group looks at accomplishments in the areas of community relations, airport management, airport maintenance activities, and innovative activities and programs implemented at airports. For more information about ADOT’s Aeronautics Group and Airport Development Program, visit azdot.gov/planning/airportdevelopment