Delaware River and Bay Authority Honors Former Airport Manager
Lewis B. Finch, Jr. Recognized for His Contributions to South Jersey
(New Castle, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority representatives joined with Congressman Frank LoBiondo and City of Millville officials to dedicate the Millville Airport Administration Building to former Airport Manager, the late Lewis B. Finch, Jr. The building is now named “The Lewis B. Finch, Jr. Administration Building.” Finch served as the Millville Airport Manager for more than twenty-eight years.
“Back in 1974, Lew Finch took this small, fledgling airport under his wing and helped it grow,” said Authority Vice-Chairman James N. Hogan, who noted that Mr. Finch obtained millions of dollars in federal funding to upgrade the runway, taxiway, and lighting infrastructure at the aviation facility. “Around Millville, he is affectionately referred to as ‘the father of Millville Airport’ and we wanted to make sure his outstanding service to the aviation community and economic future of Southern New Jersey is never forgotten.”
“My father saw the Airport as a jewel and was truly dedicated to its success,” said Lew’s son, Dale Finch. “He worked tirelessly to develop and grow the Airport for the City of Millville and region. My family is very honored and humbled by this dedication.”
“I was fortunate enough to know Lewis Finch Jr.” Congressman Frank LoBiondo noted. “This is a fitting tribute to a man who gave so much of himself to the airport and the city of Millville. His commitment to the community will always be remembered.”
“Everyone has their favorite story to tell about Lew, but we uniformly admire and love this very special man,” remarked former FAA regional administrator Arlene Feldman. “He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and a fierce advocate for Millville. This is a well-deserved honor.”
“I’ve known Lew since I was six years old,” said City of Millville Mayor Tim Shannon. “He loved the City of Millville, but the Airport was his baby. When it came to federal funding for the Airport, Lew was tenacious, getting as much as he could and no one did more to further its development than Lew Finch. I am pleased that the Authority recognized his legacy.”
Commissioner Douglas VanSant, who spearheaded the effort on the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commission to honor the former Airport Manager, praised Mr. Finch for his vision and dedication to the Millville community. “Lew was a passionate person, dedicated to his airport, his community and his family,” VanSant remarked. “He spent most of his time at the airport, making sure the perimeter was secure, checking on construction projects or working in the office. It’s a fitting tribute to name the Airport’s main building after its biggest supporter.”
Throughout his lifetime, Lew was dedicated to community service, the airport, local sports, and his family. A veteran of World War II and lifelong resident of Millville, Lew Finch served as the manager of the Millville Airport from 1974 until his untimely passing on October 1, 2002. An active member of the New Jersey Airport Advisory Committee, Mr. Finch was the recipient of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame award for his accomplishments at Millville Airport and was publicly honored for outstanding service to the aviation community and economic future of Southern New Jersey by Federal Aviation Administration regional administrator Arlene Feldman.
He served on numerous community boards, including the Millville Army Air Field Museum, Millville Board of Education, Millville Little League baseball, Millville Zoning Board, and American Legion NABB Leslie Post 82. He was the founding President of the Millville Exchange Club, which was chartered in 1948.
About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, the Three Forts Ferry Crossing and the Salem Business Centre in Carney’s Point Twp., NJ. The Authority also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All agency operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.
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