MELBOURNE — Don’t let the diminutive coin fool you. What it lacks in size, it makes up in honors for Melbourne International Airport and its safety program.
The Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region recently recognized the regional airport with its Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award.
The coin, which fits in the palm of a hand, was awarded based on the airport’s new management and training program for aircraft rescue and firefighting services, which exceeds federal standards.
“We could not be prouder of this high honor,” said Richard A. Ennis, airport executive director. “This award reflects not only our hard work and commitment to safety, but also the exemplary cooperation and teamwork between the airport staff and the Melbourne Fire Services department.”
According to the FAA, the award is giving to facilities that “display exemplary effort or initiative in the name of airport safety.”
Since 2004, the award has been given to up to five airports in a given year. Last year, only one airport in the region, which includes eight states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, received the award.
The coin is typically presented during FAA Southern Region airport safety summit, however there was not a summit held this year.
Ennis lauded Airport Operations Manager Cliff Graham and Airfield and Commercial Business Center Supervisor Don Capaldo for their efforts.
“We are very proud of it. It is not something easily achieved at all,” Graham said. “Don and I have been to these summits, and we’ve talked about it. We wanted that coin bad.”