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Southwest Georgia Regional Airport wins national training award

Aviation Commission ready for Phase III of renovation project

Now that the airport terminal at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport has been completed, airport officials are ready to start Phase III of its renovation project, which includes demolition of the old McAfee Terminal and construction of new short- and long-term parking lots. (Herald file photo)

Now that the airport terminal at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport has been completed, airport officials are ready to start Phase III of its renovation project, which includes demolition of the old McAfee Terminal and construction of new short- and long-term parking lots. (Herald file photo)

ALBANY — Chief of Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Public Safety Bernard Ford accepted a second-place national award on behalf of his 10-person staff at the Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission’s monthly meeting Monday.

The ANTN Digicast Excellence in Airport Training Award, presented by the American Association of Airport Executives, signifies that the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport’s public safety staff completed a specified amount of federally mandated airport-specific and continuing education training using ANTN Digicast’s Web-based training system.

The Albany-based airport, which was one of only 90 nationwide to qualify for recognition in 2013, received its award in the “non-hub” category.

“I am extremely proud of our employees who have used this program to continue their airport education,” Airport Director Yvette Aehle said. “The program is a cost-effective way for our employees to learn more about subjects such as airport administration; aircraft rescue and firefighting; airport environmental issues; operations and maintenance, and police, safety and security.

“This is a way for our employees to learn not only about their own job, but be able to learn about any of these subject areas without any extra cost. With today’s cost-cutting measures, Web education is the wave of the future, and I am thrilled that our employees are taking advantage of it.”

Ford, whose staff is responsible for police and fire protection at the airport, said Tuesday morning that he personally stresses the importance of taking advantage of online training opportunities.

“I think it’s important that all of our personnel stay as up-to-date as possible on training techniques, and this program is an excellent way to do that at minimum cost,” Ford said.

Airports that subscribe to ANTN Digicast have unlimited access to the service’s training program, which currently includes more than 300 videos, according to information from the American Association of Airport Executives.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Aehle said she would meet Tuesday with Reeves Construction Co. officials to ask why the contractor has not revealed its plans to start Phase III of the airport renovation, which includes demolition of the old McAfee Terminal building and construction of new long- and short-term parking lots.

“The FAA has removed its radio equipment from the second floor of the (McAfee) building, and we’ve completed the paperwork that will allow us to provide a notice to proceed,” Aehle said. “I hope to have a clear indication of their plans after I meet with them.”

Reeves was awarded the Phase III project with its value-engineered low bid of $3.5 million.