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An Allegiant passenger plane arrives at the Quad-City International Airport in Moline in February. (Larry Fisher/QUAD-CITY TIMES)

For the third time in 14 years, the Quad-City International Airport has been named Illinois Primary Airport of the Year, airport officials announced Thursday.

Bruce Carter, the airport’s aviation director, accepted the award Wednesday at the annual Illinois Aviation Conference in St. Charles.

The Quad-City airport was selected for the honor from all the state’s primary airports. Other awards were presented to the top reliever airport, general aviation airport and heliport.

The award was presented by Dr. Susan Shea, director of the state’s Division of Aeronautics. She said many of the Moline airport’s recent accomplishments led to its selection, including the $35 million runway reconstruction project completed last year. “The Runway 9/27 Reconstruction/Taxiway P project was a complex, multi-year endeavor that required an incredible level of communication and coordination,” she said.

Shea added that the project’s success is an example of the aeronautics division’s “longstanding partnership with the Quad-City International Airport and would not have been possible without the cooperation of director Carter and his dedicated staff.”

This marked the third time the airport has received the award. It also was named airport of the year in 1999 and 2004.

“The partnership we have with the Division of Aeronautics and the FAA is critical to the infrastructure improvements we have made over the last several years, and months,” Carter said.

“It’s a very exciting time to be accepting this award,” he said. “We would not have received this award if it weren’t for the hard work of all of the employees, the airport authority board members, and all of the tenants.”

The airport, which has a work force of 75 employees, provides air service to 10 nonstop cities through four major airlines: Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines and United Express.

Earning the state honor, Carter said, will be a benefit “to have as part of a presentation when we’re going after certain airlines or companies.”

The award comes on the heels of Carter’s election as chair of the American Association of Airport Executives for 2012-2013.

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