Main Navigation

Wayne County Airport Authority Fire Department receives prestigious American Association of Airport Executives Achievement Award

News Releases
Aug 08 2019

DETROIT (Aug. 8, 2019) – The Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA), which operates Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport, is proud to announce the WCAA fire department has received the 2019 Great Lakes Chapter (GLC) of American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Achievement Award.

“It is a tremendous honor for our fire department to win an American Association of Airport Executives award,” said WCAA CEO Chad Newton. “To be acknowledged for the improvements our men and women have made to public safety by one of the most recognized organizations in the aviation industry is something that makes us all proud.”

The WCAA fire department received the award after nominations were solicited on a national basis and reviewed by the chapter’s ARFF committee. In 2011, the department became the first Airport Authority ARFF department to become accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The department was granted reaccreditation in 2016. While there are some municipalities that hold the accreditation, WCAA remains the only Airport Authority Accredited ARFF department to date.

The department’s training division continues to serve as an example to other departments. Last year, the WCAA Fire Department trained 116 ARFF personnel from Michigan and Ohio at their  ARFF training facility. Working in conjunction with the department’s Fire Protection Bureau, the department was able to reduce the annual FAA audit from an 11-hour event to an event lasting less than two hours in 2018, which set a new standard with the audit process across the industry. It was the great success of the 2018 audit, that prompted the FAA to send departments in jeopardy of low scoring reviews to the WCAA Fire Department for guidance prior to their individual audits. 

“I could not be prouder of the men and women who serve our fire department,” said WCAA Fire Chief Mike Evans. “Our team is consistently impacting public service not only at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but other airports as well. We will continue to embrace new ideas that position ourselves and other departments for success.”

The Achievement Award, which was first presented in 1975, is an annual award that recognizes departments who have shown exceptional skills in the workplace by organizing or directing special projects, employing innovative ideas, proactively improving safety or public service. The American Association of Airport Executives was founded in 1928 and is the world’s largest professional organization for airport executives. The award was presented at the GLC-AAAE Conference in Evansville, Indiana on July 27, 2019.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 35 million passengers in 2018 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers approximately 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 nonstop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America.  DTW is operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility.  The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations.   Visit for more information.


For additional information, members of the media may contact:

Erica Donerson – [email protected] or Lisa Gass – [email protected]

Media Line – (734) 247-7379

MEDIA LINE: (734) 247-7379