ITD State Airport Manager Mark Young received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) during the organization’s annual banquet Tuesday in Portland.
Young has managed the development, safety and maintenance of Idaho's 30 backcountry airfields the past 13 years.
“Mark, his subordinates, his part-time employees and his numerous volunteers have done a superb job of maintaining these sites, both the safety of the aircraft facilities and the quality of the camping, picnic and support facilities,” wrote ITD Aeronautics Administrator John V. DeThomas in Young’s award nomination.
Young also manages 20 state-owned airport courtesy cars located throughout the state at semi-remote airports that lack other local transportation options. “His ability to obtain and maintain these vehicles with minimal funding is amazing,” DeThomas added.
Additionally, Young was the founding chairman and driving force behind creation of the Idaho Airstrip Network, a national, first-of-its-kind collaboration involving the Idaho Division of Aeronautics, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Idaho Aviation Association and others.
The innovative effort formed an ongoing partnership to protect and improve 100 backcountry airstrips in Idaho, including state-operated airfields, Forest Service sites, wilderness airstrips and privately owned, public-use fields.
NASAO was founded in 1931 and is one of the most senior aviation organizations in the U.S. It predates even the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which is the forerunner of today's Federal Aviation Administration.
The organization’s members organize, promote and fund a variety of aviation programs across the nation.
Learn more about Young and his contributions to Idaho aviation in a future Transporter article.