The Kewanee Municipal Airport is one of several airports selected by the Illinois Department of Transportation for the “2021 Airport of the Year.” The awards were presented at the Illinois Aviation Conference in Galena on Monday.
Two weeks ago, airport co-managers Ross and Diane Carbiener were notified by phone of the award, and admit they never saw it coming.
“We didn’t even know how the nomination process went and that we were nominated,” said Ross Carbiener.
Not only was the Kewanee airport nominated, but it won the General Aviation category. The airport was built in 1966 and has fewer than 12,500 aircraft operations a year. The Carbieners took over day-to-day operations in 2018. This is the first time the Illinois Department of Transportation has awarded the local airport the title.
The criteria for award selection includes the ability to form a good working relationship with IDOT and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and safety. In addition, the award considerations are cooperation and coordination with the state, the facility safety record, the promotion of aviation events and facility maintenance.
The Carbieners, who are both pilots, say they are proud to be recognized for their work and have plans for future projects for the local airport such as updating the aircraft parking area and changing the runway lighting to more efficient LED. lights.