Bentonville, AR… The Bentonville Municipal Airport - Louise M. Thaden Field was awarded the “2018 Airport of the Year Award” for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southwest Region on Tuesday, June 11 at the FAA Southwest Regional Conference held in Hurst, Texas. The southwest region consists of 5 states (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico), and approximately 750 airports.
The City of Bentonville was recognized for improving the safety of the runways, reducing back-taxing and promoting hangar development by building a west parallel taxiway, as well as accommodating recreational, vintage, and experimental aircraft operations by constructing a turf runaway that ensured FAA standards were met to enhance airport safe operations.
Due to the prioritization of improving Runway 18/36’s Safety Area, the project succeeded in meeting FAA standards and enhancing safe operations by reducing the risk of damage to aircrafts in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway. The airport built a circular apron to provide tie-downs for over 30 itinerate aircraft in support of the new flight center.
The airport ensured sound planning and project implementation by leading these efforts with a comprehensive master plan. The airport further carefully vetted all development regardless of the funding source to comply with the FAA guidance and grant obligations.
As quoted in the Award Citation, “the operation, leadership, and management of the Bentonville Municipal Airport has demonstrated their commitment to safety, disciplined capital improvement planning and successful promotion of aviation in the local community” and a combination of the Thaden Field’s planning process, FAA projects and locally funded projects (including the Turf Runway, Circular Apron, and Flight Center) lead to the Bentonville Municipal Airport/Louis M. Thaden Field to be selected for the FAA 2018 Southwest Region Airport of the Year Award.
Mr. Chuck Chadwick, Bentonville Municipal Airport Manager said, “It is an exciting time at Bentonville Municipal Airport. It is humbling for our airport to be recognized as “Airport of the Year” for the Southwest Region of the United States, an area that encompasses approximately 750 airports. It is rewarding to be acknowledged for such a distinguished award by those who provide guidance and oversight for the job we do and the dreams we all have.”
Bentonville Municipal Airport Manager, Chuck Chadwick, accepted the award on behalf of the City of Bentonville and the Airport.
Pictured left to right: Ignacio Flores, Director, Airports Southwest Region, Kirk Shaffer, Associate Administrator for Airports, Chuck Chadwick, Airport Manager, Bentonville Municipal Airport, and Glenn Boles, Manager, Arkansas/Oklahoma Airports District Office.