The control tower at Wittman Regional Airport has won the 2012 Willy F. Card Federal Contract Service Award for providing safe and exemplary services to all users of the airport. Tower Manager Steve Wendt and Airport Director Peter Moll will receive the award July 31 at the annual AAAE/USCTA/FAA Contract Tower Program Workshop in Washington, DC.
Midwest ATC Services of Overland Park, Kansas, has held the contract to operate Wittman’s control tower since September 12, 1996, said Wendt, a Fond du Lac native who was one of four controllers who took over from FAA employees. Two others, Marty Sweeney and Brian Van Lankveldt, are still on duty with him.
Chip and Dena Dyni and “the new guy, John Penn, a former Marine” controller who started just over a year ago, complete the cadre of six controllers who operate the tower in teams of two seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. All are former military controllers, Wendt said, “four Air Force, one Army, and our Marine, and this award would not have been possible without them…and all the great pilots and tenants that make our job easy.”
The award is sponsored by the American Association of Airport Executives, the US Contract Tower Association, and the FAA. The award is named for the FAAer who ran the contract tower program, which began in 1982 and now serves 249 airports.
Annual recipients are selected by judges from the sponsoring organizations as well as the ATC Association, National Air Transportation Association, Regional Airline Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, and National Business Aviation Association.
They assess nomination packages that document a demonstrated level of customer service, community outreach, and systems that measure safety and service, said Moll. Tower tours help area law enforcement and aviation groups understand the airport layout and how it affects what can the controllers can see and do.
Beyond the airport fence, the controllers coach baseball, hockey, volleyball, and basketball, Moll said, and the are involved in veterans activities as well. “Words cannot express our appreciation for Midwest ATC Services and pride in the Wittman tower crew for the exemplary services they provide to the airport and county.”