The city of Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport has been named Airport of the Year 2018 by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Multimodal Planning Division/Aeronautics Group.
It previously won the prize in 2010, according to Dee Anne Thomas, the Falcon Field marketing/communications specialist.
The honor was recently presented to Vice Mayor David Luna, Airport Director Corinne Nystrom and Administrative Supervisor Zenia Cornejo on at the spring conference of the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA). There are 83 airports of various size and functions in ADOT’s system of airports. Selection criteria included accomplishments in the areas of aviation advocacy and community relations, airport management, special events and recognition, as well as innovative activities and programs implemented at the airport.
“This is an extremely well-deserved honor. Corinne Nystrom has always done an exceptional job at Falcon Field and I am thrilled that everyone there is being recognized for their outstanding efforts,” Luna said.
Nystrom said the award is the result of the hard work and dedication of the airport staff.
“We continually strive to provide unique, high-quality services to the aviation community,” Nystrom said. “We are honored to receive this award, especially because we know of the accomplishments and efforts of Arizona’s other general aviation airports.”
Aeronautics Group Manager Don Kriz said one of the deciding factors in the award decision was how engaged Falcon Field is with airport tenants and the Mesa community through its variety of communications and outreach programs.
The Falcon Field Airport Open House, held each year in March, attracts thousands of Mesa and Valley residents to view and learn about the aviation businesses and variety of aircraft that operate at the general aviation airport.
Tenant/community meetings are scheduled regularly to update airport tenants and residents about airport improvement projects, events and other news and to provide a forum for questions and discussion. Special tenant events scheduled throughout the year – a summer ice cream social, winter holiday reception, and fall barbecue – bring tenants and airport business employees together to network and socialize in a casual setting. Falcon Field’s activity on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide additional avenues for learning about and communicating with the Airport.
“We also invite youth groups, senior groups, community organizations and business organizations to come and tour the airport and learn more about it,” Thomas said. “We discuss the economic activities that go on here, the types of flying that occurs here, and the different businesses that are here.”
Falcon Field also is dedicated to continual improvement and growth, and it has been successful in applying for federal and state grants to fund upgrades to infrastructure and facilities. In 2017, a taxiway was realigned and new blast pads were added to runways. In 2018, airfield signage and lighting were replaced with energy-efficient LEDs, and the aircraft washing facility was renovated. In addition, approximately one-third of the airport’s pavement is crack-sealed and seal-coated annually. New airport businesses are continually being recruited. In 2018, Precision Heli-Support expanded its operations, and AQST Space Systems Group LLC recently announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters at Falcon Field.
Mesa recently hired an economic development project manager for Falcon Field, Lynn Spencer, to bolster business in the Falcon Field District.
“She’s working to get new business here and help our current businesses expand when they’re ready,” Thomas said. “She goes to industry trade shows during the year.”