Aeronautics Commission honors MDOT Alpena TSC, long-time Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport manager

Contact: Michael Frezell, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-281-6519
Agency: Transportation

September 20, 2021 -- At its Sept. 15 meeting in Thompsonville, the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC) presented its group Awards of Excellence to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Alpena Transportation Service Center (TSC) and to Gary Kellan, airport manager of the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport.

The Alpena TSC was recognized for assisting the U.S. Air Force and Michigan Air National Guard in the testing of six military aircraft landings and takeoffs on M-32 west of Alpena on Aug. 5. A national, first-of-its-kind exercise, the Alpena TSC worked to close the roadway, conducted public outreach to keep residents informed, coordinated with national media, and worked to relocate utilities and traffic lights, which went above and beyond their normal duties. The MAC presented the Alpena TSC staff the highest-level award in supporting this important aeronautical test mission. 

For his outstanding contribution to Michigan as manager of Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, Gary Kellan was recognized with an individual Award of Excellence. Kellan was honored for his commitment to innovation and improvements during his 11 years as airport manager that resulted in multiple airport developments and led to being named 2020 Airport of the Year by the MDOT Office of Aeronautics and featured in a Business View magazine article. The MAC and the MDOT Office of Aeronautics thank Kellan for his accomplishments as a true example of leadership and dedication to the aviation industry.

Every year since 1990, the MAC has recognized individuals and organizations whose innovative contributions have led to significant improvements to facilities, operations or public relations that support aviation in Michigan. The MAC is responsible for the general supervision of aeronautics within Michigan.

Alpena TSC Manager Garrett Dawe

MAC Director Mike Trout (left) looks on as MDOT Alpena TSC Manager Garrett Dawe (right) accepts the award on behalf of the TSC.