Salina Airport Authority Executive Director Tim Rogers, A.A.E. was named to receive the American Association of Airport Executives 2012 Distinguished Service Award at the 83rd Annual AAAE Conference and Exposition, held May 15- 18.
"I am truly honored," Rogers said. "Service to the Salina community, State of Kansas and AAAE has been important to me. I have just tried to follow the actions of my mentors."
The Distinguished Service Award is one of AAAE’s highest levels of recognition, according to the AAAE website. Men and women receive this award as a reflection of outstanding accomplishments in their professional and personal lives. Respected leaders of their own communities, these men and women also contribute to other aviation organizations, serve AAAE and its chapters and participate in civic and community affairs. DSA winners exemplify the best in airport management by continually bringing credit to the profession and the aviation community. All DSA winners are Accredited Airport Executives and exemplify the standards accreditation seeks to inspire.
Newly elected AAAE Chair Kelly Johnson, A.A.E. will formally present the award after January 2012.
Rogers began his airport management in 1979 as the assistant airport manager of Jefferson County Airport Authority in Colorado where he started in the airport maintenance and aircraft rescue and firefighting. He has been the executive director of the Salina Airport Authority since 1985.
In 1997, Rogers was one of 11 airport executives that made up the first ever U.S. Contract Tower Association Policy Board. At the time, a total of 160 airports were participating in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Federal Contract Tower Program. Today, 246 airports and communities benefit from ATC services offered at contract towers. From December 2003 to September 2008, Rogers was chair of the USCTA Policy Board. His leadership and service was instrumental in the growth of USCTA membership and improvements to the FAA Federal Contract Tower Program. From an initial 64 USCTA members, the association has grown to more than 200 members representing airports, state organizations and the ATC industry. As Policy Board chair, Rogers represented the interests of the USCTA membership before Congress, federal agencies and the AAAE board of directors.
In August 2008, Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Rogers as the co-chair of the Transportation-Leveraging Investments in Kansas task force. The task force was charged with developing recommendations for a new comprehensive and strategic transportation program. The T-LINK recommendations resulted in action by the 2010 Kansas Legislature to adopt the current T-WORKS program. T-WORKS legislation funds a truly, multi model, multi-year program funding Kansas highways, bridges, public transit, railroads and airports. Kansas airports are now able to receive state grants from the $6 million per year Kansas Airport Improvement Program. For the first time, Kansas airport sponsors are also able to apply for T-WORKS economic development grants to assist communities to attract new industry and jobs to Kansas airports. Rogers played an active role in the passage of T-WORKS by the Kansas Legislature by testifying before various committees.
Prior to co-chairing the T-LINK task force, Rogers was part of the State’s 1998 – 1999 Transportation 2000 task force and helped to develop the 2008 Long Range Transportation Plan for the Kansas Department of Transportation. In each case he was an advocate for enhanced state funding for small and rural Kansas airports.
Rogers’ service to AAAE and the AAAE South Central Chapter has focused on several key national committees and mentoring chapter accreditation candidates.
In addition to serving on the USCTA Policy Board for over 12 years, Rogers was a contributor to the AAAE Board of Examiners. From 2000 to 2005 he was active in developing and implementing steps taken to energize the airport executive accreditation process. Several of today’s accreditation programs improved features were developed during his tenure on the BOE. The South Central Chapter’s accreditation efforts were energized during his tenure as the Chapter’s Regional examiner.
In 2008, the AAAE Board of Directors presented Rogers with a 2008 Award of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding service as chair of the U.S. Contract Tower Association.
Since 1985, Rogers has been active in the AAAE South Central Chapter. In addition to serving on various committees, he has held each of the chapter’s officer positions. In 1999, he adjusted his schedule to become chapter president early (2000 – 2001) due to the departure of the airport executive scheduled to be chapter president. During his term as president, he also became the chapter’s BOE regional examiner and representative to the AAAE BOE.
Most recently, Rogers has started to teach airport management courses at Kansas State University at Salina. The K-State Salina aviation program has implemented an airport management degree program with his guidance. K-State airport management students are able to take advantage of the Salina Airport Authority’s internship program.
During his airport management career, Rogers has provided considerable support to state airport management associations. While in Colorado, he was a 1988 founding member of the Colorado Airport Operators Association. The CAOA continues to actively represent the interests of the 79 public use airports in Colorado.
For the Kansas Association of Airports, Rogers has served a total of 10 years on the KAA board of directors and three years as KAA president. Under his leadership, Kansas airports are now a part of a comprehensive state transportation program that provides funding for small and rural Kansas airports. The Kansas AIP program provides much needed funding for many of the 104 Kansas airports that do not qualify for FAA AIP grant funding.
From 1993 to 1997, Rogers served as chairman of the Kansas Aviation Advisory Committee. The committee made the placement of ASOS/AWOS equipment at Kansas airports a top priority.
Rogers has been a strong supporter of the U.S. military. Since 2008, he has been a member of the Kansas Governor’s Military Affairs Council. His commitment and leadership has led to growth of military training activity at the Salina Airport and Airport Industrial Center. This growth and development has resulted in the establishment of the Great Plains Joint Training Center. The GPJTC has quickly become the premier location for joint force training for active duty, reserve National Guard and NATO military units.
In March 2010, Rogers was awarded the first-ever Kansas National Guard Patriot Medal "for providing immeasurable support to the Great Plains Joint Training Center and Kansas National Guard." The Patriot Medal and citation were presented by General Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Major General Tod Bunting, the Adjutant General, Kansas National Guard.
Rogers’ leadership on the City’s Salina Economic Development Council has led to two grant awards to Kansas State University at Salina for the establishment of the K-State Salina UAS Program Office. $300,000 in SEDIC grant funds has enabled K-State to secure more than $4 million in UAS research and development grants and contracts. K-State Salina is now an acknowledged leader in the development of unmanned aircraft for emergency response to natural and manmade disasters.