Augusta Regional Airport has been named one of the safest airports in the nation. First in 2013 and now in 2017. The Augusta Regional Airport has once again received the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Airport Safety Mark of Distinction” – an achievement usually made by only some of the best international airports. “We’re honored to be able to win this award, not only to win it, but to win it a second time means a lot to us. We are always trying to do anything we can as far as safety and amenities. You know, safety is our number one priority out here. So, we are continuously training and doing different aspects that we can improve or just to try to always think ahead,” says Lauren Smith, Communications Manager.
The award is all about safety. And Augusta Regional Airport’s fire department has gone above and beyond to train its staff not only to meet state standards – but national standards as well. “Our safety is the key factor of everything. When that plane’s coming in, our most important thing is making sure that the aircraft is on the ground safely, checking it out, making sure it’s okay, making sure that our passengers are okay. That is the key thing,” says Captain Jeremy Kendrick of Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF).
The FAA was so impressed with the department’s training program – it’s now being used to help other agencies. “They’ve actually looked at our training program that we’ve developed a couple years ago and they have taken it to other agencies, other airport fire departments, that are struggling to meet their Part 139 requirements. We’ve had Puerto Rico, not too long ago last year, requested some assistance,” says Captain Kendrick.
Captain Kendrick says his department couldn’t have gotten this award and made such an impact without the help of his staff. “The guys make it happen here. And that’s what the success is. That’s how we get this award. It’s based on my guys ability to train and perform and the documents prove that,” says Captain Kendrick.
Captain Kendrick and his team are always looking for new ways to improve their fire and aircraft safety program to better serve the CSRA as well as help other airport fire departments.