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Melbourne Airport Wins Coveted FAA Safety Award

11/22/2011  |  Melbourne, FL

Pictured from left: Airport Operations Manager Cliff Graham, Melbourne Assistant Fire Chief Robert Apel, Melbourne Battalion Chief David Waite and Airfield and Commercial Business Center Supervisor Don Capaldo stand in front of the airport’s E-One Titan Force Crash Truck. The state-of-the-art fire truck and cooperation between the airport staff and Melbourne Fire Services department were crucial in the airport winning the FAA’s Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award.

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Nov. 22, 2011)
— Melbourne International recently joined a distinct group of airports nationally that have received the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award.

The award, presented by the FAA’s Southern Region, recognized MLB’s improved Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) services, which recently implemented a new management and training program that exceeds federal standards. The program includes enhanced training for ARFF personnel in emergency response procedures and the development of a city-wide Airport Tactical Response Guide.

“We could not be prouder of this high honor,” said Richard A. Ennis, airport executive director. “This award reflects not only our hard work and commitment to safety, but also the exemplary cooperation and teamwork between the airport staff and the Melbourne Fire Services department.”

Ennis singled out Airport Operations Manager Cliff Graham and Airfield and Commercial Business Center Supervisor Don Capaldo for their efforts.

Graham said the coveted award — in the form of a specially minted coin — is generally presented with great fanfare at airport safety summits in each of the FAA’s nine regions. There was no summit this year for the Southern Region, but that does not diminish the significance of receiving the award, he said.

“We are very proud of it. It is not something easily achieved at all,” Graham said. “Don and I have been to these summits, and we’ve talked about it. We wanted that coin bad.”

For the traveling public, the award reflects that MLB is among the nation’s safest airports.

“The people who operate and maintain this airport really care about its passengers, and they take great pride in their work,” Graham said.

About Melbourne International Airport

Melbourne International Airport serves east Central Florida, including Brevard and Indian River counties, and is responsible for generating more than $1 billion per year in economic activity. It is among the nation’s fastest-growing aviation manufacturing and maintenance hubs, and is the closest international airport to Port Canaveral, one of the world’s busiest cruise ports. Led by Executive Director Richard A. Ennis and Melbourne Airport Authority Board Chairman Harry Goode, the airport operates three runways, a 200,000-square-foot terminal and offers multiple FBOs. Melbourne International Airport is home to more than 75 tenant businesses including Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Rockwell Collins, LiveTV, Embraer and Harris Corp. The airport currently serves Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, US Airways and Baer Air. For more information, visit


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Office: 321-723-6227, Ext. 133

One Air Terminal Parkway, Suite 220, Melbourne, FL 32901-1888, USA     |     Phone: 321-723-6227
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