DuRay was presented the award at the 66th MAAE Annual Fall Conference “in recognition of his dedicated service to the aviation industry and the Michigan Association of Airport Executives, and his ongoing commitment to the future success of Sawyer International Airport,” according to MAAE.
[Interview First Broadcast March 9, 2019]
DuRay has worked on projects that continue to improve the airport for passenger flights, safety, and airport improvements including airport runway rehabilitation, several improvement grants, addition of Minneapolis/St. Paul flight option, and moving the airport to a higher level of security. He was largely responsible for bringing in approximately $6 million in federal and state funding for airport improvements over the last year. DuRay has also been behind updating the Airport Master Plan, in addition to the day-to-day operations of the Airport.
Steven Schenden, Director of Operations at Sawyer, spoke about DuRay’s responsibilities and said that this award is well deserved. Sawyer International Airport experiences over 100,000 passengers yearly with five commercial flights daily to three of the larger primary aviation hubs – Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis /St. Paul.
DuRay has served as the airport manager since 2012, following his position at Gogebic Iron County Airport. Adding to his aviation experience, he is a licensed aircraft maintenance technician and holds an Inspection Authorization (IS) through the FAA.
Sawyer International Airport, County of Marquette, receives Airport of the Year Award.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of Aeronautics has named the Sawyer International Airport in Marquette as Airport of the Year, in recognition of sustained excellence and contribution to aviation progress in the State of Michigan. Duane DuRay, Sawyer’s Airport Manager, was also presented a service award for outstanding contributions to airport development and aviation progress.
Recognized in particular, Airport Manager Duane DuRay is being commended for his generous assistance to the MDOT Office of Aeronautics in the Grant Closeout Improvement Process. In addition to overseeing the complex rehabilitation of Runway 1/19 at Sawyer International Airport, Duane provided significant valuable input to MDOT. As a result, the primary airports in the State, the FAA, and MDOT will all benefit from the more efficient and effective grant closeout process.
These awards were presented to Airport Manager, Duane DuRay at the Michigan Association of Airport Executives Winter Conference on February 21, 2019, by Michael Trout, Executive Administrator for Michigan Department of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics and Mark Noel, Planning and Development, Michigan Department of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics. There are 234 airports across Michigan and only 18 commercial airports identified in MDOT air carrier data reporting with scheduled passenger enplanements. Six of these airports are located in the Upper Peninsula (UP), with Sawyer International Airport the only airport in the UP not receiving Essential Air
Service (EAS) funding for operations. These awards are based on accomplishments in the areas of community relations, airport management, airport maintenance activities, and innovative activities and programs implemented at airports. These awards are added to the Airport Manager of the Year Award presented to Duane DuRay earlier in September, 2018.