Geneseo Airport receives award

Claudia Loucks
Sid Kemmis, left, president of Gen-Air Airport in Geneseo; and Clayton Stambaugh, director, Aviation Division of Illinois Department of Transportation, are shown at the recent Illinois Public Airports Association Fall Conference in Galena, when Geneseo’s Gen-Air Park was named “Best Privately-Owned Public Airport of the Year.”

The Geneseo Airport has been named Best Privately-Owned Public Use Airport of the Year. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced the selections with this comment: “Reflecting the importance and vitality of the State’s aviation system, 12 airports have received Airport of the Year awards from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The awards were presented during the Illinois Public Airports Association Fall Conference in Galena.”

Sid Kemmis, Gen-air president, attended the ceremony in Galena and accepted the award on behalf of Gen-Air Airpark in Geneseo….”The facilities were selected because of their accomplishments, including an outstanding partnership with IDOT and a strong commitment to customer safety and satisfaction. Among the award considerations are cooperation and coordination with the state, safety record, maintenance of the facility, and promotion of aviation and educational events.”

“Due to the pandemic canceling last year’s conference, awards were based on the achievements of the last two years,” Kemmis added.

Gen-Air Park is located two miles east of Geneseo, between Ford Rd. and U.S. Route 6.

Kent Johnson is Gen-Air Park manager. He is a pilot and a former air traffic controller. His responsibilities include overseeing the operations and maintenance of the airport and its facilities, which have seen many additions and improvements in recent years.

Johnson credits Gen-Air Park members for their volunteer help with projects. He provided some history of the facility which was organized in Sept. 1, 1979, by 25 local pilots.

Gen-Air annually holds a Father’s Day Fly-In Breakfast and serves as host for one day of the week-long National Stearman Fly-In based in Galesburg. Gen-Air also is home to a chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association and s active in the Young Eagles program, promoting youth aviation. The Quad-City Skydiving Center also operates from Gen-Air Park.