Airport director receives national award

The Medford airport's director received the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the airline industry during his 35-year career, Jackson County officials reported.

Airport Director Bern Case received the American Association of Airport Executives' Distinguished Service Award last week at the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County awards ceremony.

"I tell you, I'm very honored, because it's a really big deal," Case said.

The association is an organization that has been in existence 85 years and has grown to become the largest airline organization in the world, boasting 5,000 members and representing nearly 3,000 airports nationwide.

It made the decision to give Case the award back in May. He is the 50th recipient of the award, which is given annually. Airport officials said it recognizes commitment and accomplishments within the industry.

"You don't ever expect to get one of these because there's a lot of great people who have had them," Case said.

Case will cap his 20th year at the Medford airport this year. Prior to that, he worked as operations manager at the Salt Lake City airport, and as director for the Saginaw airport in Michigan and Lubbock airport in Texas.

During his time at the Medford airport, Case has presided over a major runway extension project and construction of a new airport terminal, which opened in 2009 and tripled the airport's size, county officials said. Recently, he's overseen the installation of solar panels and construction of a rental car maintenance facility that is still underway. County officials said passenger numbers have more than doubled during his time as airport director.

"Bern's been a pleasure to work with. He's very creative," County Administrator Danny Jordan said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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