Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) Director Tony Vicari was distinguished as the “2019 Colorado Aviation Professional of the Year” by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Division of Aeronautics. The award was announced on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the Colorado Airport Operator’s Association (CAOA) Spring Conference in Greeley, Colorado, and presented by Aeronautics Director David Ulane to Tony in Durango on July 18, 2019.
This is the first award of its kind presented by the Colorado Division of Aeronautics that will annually recognize a Colorado aviation professional who exhibits extraordinary dedication to their community and airport, as well as their outstanding contributions to the Colorado airport system. Individuals recognized as the “Colorado Aviation Professional of the Year” demonstrate values that fall in line with the CDOT Division of Aeronautics mission to advance a safe, efficient, and an effective statewide air and space system through collaboration, investment, and advocacy.
Vicari is a 2008 graduate of Western Michigan University with a B.S. in Aviation Science and Administration. He began working at the Durango-La Plata County Airport in 2014 as an Airport Operations Specialist. Tony moved his way up through the ranks as Operations Manager, Interim Director, and finally becoming the airport’s Director of Aviation in April of 2017. For the past two years, Tony has successfully managed the airport’s $3.6 million annual operating budget and a team of 24 airport personnel. His notable efforts have also included a proactive approach to addressing the airport’s terminal needs and airport growth in a challenging fiscal environment.
In the 2013 Economic Impact Study of Colorado Airports, the Durango-La Plata County Airport was responsible for supporting 2,646 jobs, producing over $95 million in annual payroll, while generating $282 million in overall annual economic output. An update to this study is expected to be released by the Colorado Division of Aeronautics in the Spring of 2020.
The Colorado Airport System consists of 74 public-use airports that support over 265,000 jobs, provide $12.6 billion in annual payroll, and $36.7 billion in total annual economic output for the State of Colorado.