Marjy Leggett from Pasco was awarded the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association highest honor Nov. 13 for her efforts to promote and protect her home airport, Vista Field in Kennewick.
The Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of general aviation.
This year's presentation was made during a special awards program on the AOPA Live stage at AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif.
"Marjy's efforts in Kennewick are a perfect example of how the local pilot community and AOPA can work together to protect and preserve America's network of public-use airports," said AOPA President Craig Fuller in a news release.
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"With back-up support from our airport staffs in Frederick and Maryland, (Leggett) and her fellow airport supporters were able to educate the broader community about the value of Vista Field."
Leggett rallied fellow pilots and other airport supporters to prove to the city that keeping Vista Field open was the best option.
Her efforts led to the election of a number of aviation-friendly city and port candidates, and ultimately to a unanimous vote this year by the Port of Kennewick Commission to keep the airport open.
When, in 2008, Kennewick began exploring how best to use the airport land, including possibly closing the airport, Leggett rallied fellow pilots and other airport supporters to prove to the city that keeping Vista Field open was the best option.