Long Island MacArthur Airport commissioner Teresa Rizzuto will be recognized Wednesday by the federal Transportation Security Administration with an award for improvements to aviation security at the Ronkonkoma airfield.
The award will be presented by TSA security director Marisa Maola at a ceremony in Manhattan. Announcing it in a statement Tuesday, Maola said while Rizzuto “tirelessly” continues to improve and promote the airport’s economic growth, “she has never lost sight of the importance of a comprehensive, well-planned, exercised and enforced Airport Security Program.”
Rizzuto’s support was an essential ingredient to the success of the TSA’s mission and in developing, coordinating and communicating TSA policies, procedures, and guidelines throughout the airport community, the statement said.
A spokeswoman for Rizzuto said she was honored to receive the award. “The vigilance here has to be 24/7 and recognition for that from our federal partner is terrific,” spokeswoman Catherine Green said.
The award is a TSA initiative.
Following a nationwide search in 2008, Rizzuto was chosen to lead MacArthur by Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan, who lost his re-election bid last month. Rizzuto began her aviation career at United Airlines where she rose quickly through the ranks to become general manager at Newark International Airport (1999) and Dulles International Airport (2003).
During 2003, she managed operations for United at both airports simultaneously, a role that included ground security coordination.
Rizzuto is a member of the board of directors of the New York Airport Management Association and the advisory board of Dowling College’s School of Aviation. In 2008, Rizzuto was named “Trailblazer of the Year” by the national Association of Women Business Owners in recognition of her groundbreaking role in aviation, a field where less than 3 percent of non-pilot aviation jobs are held by women.