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For Immediate Release:



Washington County
James Jenkins

Midwest Air Traffic Control Services honored with Willie Card Contract Tower Service Award

Hagerstown, Md. (June 25, 2014) – Please join us in congratulating Hagerstown Regional Airport’s (HGR) air traffic controllers in receiving their first Willie Card Contract Tower Service Award. This award recognizes contract service towers that deliver air traffic control safety and service excellence.

Picture of people looking at classic airplanes

Seamless execution gives our passengers and the general aviation community peace of mind flying into and out of our community and we’re proud to deliver on those points at HGR, said Phil Ridenour, director of the Hagerstown Regional Airport. Safety and service are the top priorities of this airport and we’re pleased to partner with Midwest Air Traffic Control. Our air traffic controllers are a dedicated team and we’re thrilled to see the staff’s hard work acknowledged.

HGR’s control tower, operating daily 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., has successfully guided more than 56,497 operations without error in 2013-14, including a 22 percent increase in traffic over the previous four years, due in part to additional commercial flights from Allegiant and commuter flights from SunAir. The six staff members operating HGR’s control tower total 125+ years of air traffic control experience with backgrounds ranging from prior military service and pilots to specialized aviation degrees.

Awarded annually by the American Association of Airport Executives/United States Contract Tower Association, the Willie Card Contract Tower Service Award is presented each year to the Federal Aviation Administration federal contract tower that most closely mirrors Mr. Card's vision of what the contract tower program exemplifies. Mr. Card created an environment in which the competing interests of the FAA, the ATC contractors, airports, and organizations like AAAE/USCTA came together to form a unique and lasting partnership with the common goal of providing the very best air traffic control services to the local users at FAA contract towers. The selection committee is comprised of officials from the FAA, National Business Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, Air Traffic Control Association and Regional Airline Association.

On the heels of this award, HGR continues expansion of its portfolio including several businesses expanding into larger/new hangar space in addition to marketing the airport’s resources for new business development opportunities. Fixed base operator Rider Jet Center is undertaking a $6 million expansion to service pilots and passengers, including fueling, an inviting lobby area, and larger weather-monitoring rooms and resting rooms.

Operations and Terminal Manager, Ed Rakowski and Air Traffic Manager, David Pence accepted the award on behalf of HGR Tuesday morning, June 24, during the USCTA/AAAE/FAA Contract Tower Workshop in Washington, D.C.

For additional information, contact Public Relations and Community Affairs Manager James Jenkins at 240-313-2384.


About Hagerstown Regional Airport

Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR), a financially self-supporting airport complex managed by Washington County, is home to a variety of businesses that provide travel services to the general public and airside services to the general aviation community. The 400-acre facility includes a secured perimeter, an air traffic control tower, state-of-the-art navigational aids, and the second-longest public runway in the State of Maryland. Sun Air Express provides passenger service to Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Allegiant provides passenger service to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Visit for more information.

About Washington County, Maryland Government

Washington County, Maryland Government strives to fulfill its duty to the citizens of Washington County with regard to operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. This vision is used to ably assist the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County in achieving goals for moving the County forward as present needs and future plans are addressed.

According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the Washington County General Fund has one of the lowest costs per capita for services provided of all 23 counties and Baltimore City. This is attributed to the efficiency, staffing levels, and cost containment exhibited in Washington County Government operations. Visit for more information.

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