Zephyrhills Municipal Airport manager Mike Handrahan has been named the Federal Aviation Administration’s General Aviation Airport Manager of the Year for the Southern Region Airports Division.
This is the second time since 2010 that Handrahan has received this recognition.
The award is given to someone who has exhibited exceptional aviation leadership, has tirelessly worked to promote the aviation industry, or has striven to achieve efficiencies and improved productivity with their organization, according to a release.
“Last year was a big year for the airport,” Handrahan said, in a release. “But I must say, I didn’t see it coming. To be recognized by your peers and colleagues is a tremendous validation, and really gratifying.”
Among those accomplishments Handrahan led were the completion of more than $5 million in airport improvements, and the recruitment of two new key businesses to the airport.
The improvements include a new 100-foot runway along with new taxiway lighting, fuel farm upgrades, and other aviation-friendly improvements. Handrahan also played a lead role in recruiting the Turin Aviation Group, an unmanned aviation technology testing company, to the airport, as well as Rotors of America, a civil aviation pilot training facility.
Both companies service government, regional, national and international clients, and have leased airport property to meet their developing aviation market needs.
“Mike brings a wealth of aviation expertise and business acumen to Zephyrhills, and is key to uncovering the great potential of our aviation-related economic assets,” said Vonnie Mikkelsen, the executive director of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, in a release. “Mike has proven that, clearly, Zephyrhills is the place you want to land your plane, and your business.”
The airport is located near Interstate 4 and Interstate 75, and is the only publicly owned and operated airport in Pasco County.