Acting Mayor Dot McKinnon has her head in the clouds after Wanganui Airport took off with a prestigious award.
The airport beat off competitors from around the country to win the Interspace regional airport of the year award at the New Zealand Airports Association's annual conference last week.
Cr McKinnon thinks the award was richly deserved.
"It's fantastic to get this recognition for Wanganui," she said.
"Wanganui people told us in Referendum '05 that upgrading out airport was important to them & we then spent two years working on improvements including upgrading the runway, refurbishing the terminal and generally revitalising the facility."
The secret to success lay in the ingenuity of the redesign, she said.
Not much expensive construction work was required, so the council spent more resources improving aesthetics.
"It was a very low-cost makeover. It was just a facelift, really.
"Now it's friendly, light, attractive and very welcoming."
The airport handles flights between Wanganui and Auckland and Wellington, with about four planes departing each day.
Cr McKinnon, who uses the airport about once a month, said it was a real asset to the city.
"We now have a top-class facility for our residents, and one that makes a great first impression on our visitors. "The work we have done was pivotal in Wanganui winning this prestigious award."
The regional airport award was open to every airport that serves fewer than 50,000 passengers a year.
This year, each nominee had to have completed an initiative project or development between July 2007 and June 2008.
Blenheim Airport took out last year's award for its successful handling of a light plane crash in June 2007.