LEXINGTON, Ky., Jan. 28, 2011 — Eric J. Frankl, A.A.E., Executive Director of Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, has been selected as the 2010 Air Carrier Airport Manager of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southern Region. The award was presented at the annual FAA Southern Region Airports Communications Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on January 27, 2011.
“Eric Frankl has been very instrumental in the remarkable accomplishments at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport,” said Winsome A. Lenfert, Manager, Airports Division, FAA Southern Region. “Frankl’s tireless leadership has transformed Blue Grass Airport into a model facility. He is an inspiration to airport managers throughout the Southern Region.”
In his position at Blue Grass Airport, Frankl and his team have overseen more than $66 million worth of airport improvement projects to ensure a safe and efficient airport for the traveling public. Projects included renovation of the airport terminal interior and exterior, building a new crosswind general aviation runway, unveiling a new airport entrance reflective of the Bluegrass region, and taxiway, ramp and electrical vault improvements.
Under Frankl’s leadership, Blue Grass Airport has seen a 19.3 percent passenger growth rate in 2010. This double-digit increase is attributed to the welcoming of AirTran Airways in February 2010 as well as new Allegiant Air service to Punta Gorda/Southwest Florida, American Eagle service to Chicago, Delta Air Lines service to Minneapolis and US Airways service to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
In October 2010, as the airport hosted the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Frankl led the airport through one of the busiest months in its history when it experienced a 39 percent growth in passenger enplanements over the previous year. Held every four years, attendance for the Games exceeded 500,000 spectators and included representation from 58 countries.
“We are proud of the accomplishments Eric Frankl and his staff have undertaken since his tenure at Blue Grass Airport,” said Richard Hopgood, Chairman of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board. “He has made tremendous efforts in building relationships within the aviation industry and local community, and he has led us through one of the busiest construction seasons in the airport’s history. We are pleased he is receiving this distinguished recognition and appreciate the excellent relationship he has built with the FAA.”
Since 2008, the FAA has provided Blue Grass Airport with 15 grants totaling $26 million in Airport Improvement Program funds for various airport projects including the new general aviation runway. The Southern Region is the FAA’s largest, encompassing eight southeastern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition to this award, Blue Grass Airport was recognized with the FAA Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award earlier in the week at the FAA Southern Region 2011 Airport Safety and Certification Conference. Blue Grass Airport received this honor for construction of its new general aviation runway and for the development of an airport operations department.
Eric Frankl was confirmed as Executive Director of Blue Grass Airport in October 2009. In addition to his work for Blue Grass Airport, Frankl previously served as Director of Airports for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (Ohio), Executive Director for the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois and Director of Operations at Fort Wayne International Airport in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Frankl received his professional accreditation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) in 1996, and he served as President of the AAAE Great Lakes Chapter in 2004/2005.
Blue Grass Airport, located in Lexington, Kentucky, is served by seven major airlines providing convenient non-stop service to 15 major hub cities and connecting service to hundreds of destinations worldwide.