Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie has been honored the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics and the Colorado Aeronautical Board by being named the state’s “2020 Aviation Professional of the Year.”

Dave Ulane, Colorado Division of Aeronautics director, offered soaring praise, saying Condie is “innovative, forward-thinking and collaborative.” He told the Board of County Commissioners that his organization recognizes aviation professionals each year for their outstanding contributions to the “aviation world.”

“I don’t have to tell you what Brian has done for your community. That award is given to those that have shown very longstanding and outstanding commitment to their community and their airport,” he said.

The award recognizes “an aviation professional who exhibits complete dedication to their community and airport, as well as for their outstanding contributions to the Colorado airport system,” a Division of Aeronautics statement noted. “Individuals recognized as the ‘Colorado Aviation Professional of the Year’ also demonstrate values that align with the CDOT Division of Aeronautics’ mission to advance a safe, efficient and effective statewide air and space system through collaboration, investment and advocacy.”

Condie was informed of the honor at the 2020 Colorado Aeronautical Board meeting in June.

“I appreciate all the support the Aeronautics Division has given the airport over the past 18 years I’ve been here,” he said. “They have a vested interest in the airport and I’m very appreciative of the recognition. Colorado aviation is the best in the country.”

In his time at Garfield County, Condie has helped elevate the county airport into one of the finest in the state. Under his tenure, the Rifle Garfield County Airport has made more than $56 million in capital improvements, including the complete realignment of the runway in 2010. It is also home to the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, helping crews battle wildfires on the Western Slope.

A 2020 economic impact study of airports noted that the Rifle Garfield County Airport supports 277 jobs and generates close to $41 million in business revenues annually. Condie, who’s currently the third-longest tenured airport director in the state, accepted the award at the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on July 6.

“I had no idea. There 76 airports in Colorado, so to receive this was very special,” Condie said.