Bangor International Airport announced as winner of the Best SME Award

BANGOR, ME – Bangor International Airport was presented the Best SME (Subject Matter Expert) Award Wednesday morning by Ground Handling International.

BGR was among five finalists in the Best SME category who were celebrated for their entrepreneurial spirit as smaller sized handlers who play an integral role in delivering industry excellence around the world. Business’ entries were focused on their quest to exceed customer expectations and forge a reputation for quality, safety, innovation and teamwork.

“It’s an honor to have the hard work of our team at BGR recognized and acknowledged by aviation professionals throughout the world,” said BGR Director Tony Caruso. “Our reputation as a worldwide leader in handling diversion aircraft isn’t something we take lightly and we are proud to be the first winner in GHI’s newest award category. This recognition is not possible without the great partnerships with our government agencies and our first responders.”

While BGR’s location as the first stop coming into the U.S. on the Great Circle Route makes it the easiest and safest place to handle diversions, our ability to handle emergency situations and focus on customer service sets us apart from other airports our size, and even those that are larger.

The team at BGR regularly trains and has more than 50 years of experience when it comes to handling diversions — big and small. The airport’s ramp area can fill up when planes are re-routed and grounded due to the weather in other locations. Pilots with medical emergencies onboard know they can count on fire and rescue services at BGR to provide the best care possible in a timely, often lifesaving manner.

BGR is ever-ready to handle whatever the aviation world needs 24/7, 365 days a year.

During COVID, that was accepting cargo flights to deliver critical shipments of PPE when New York airports virtually were shut down.

Most recently, the airport has seen an increase in the need for crew swaps due to longer travel times from Europe across The Pond as flights are forced to go around countries impacted by the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

“We experience diversions on an almost routine basis. Every week there’s something, whether it’s weather-related, mechanical, medical, or an unruly passenger,” said BGR Director Tony Caruso.

GHI Pride of Handling Awards entrants were subject to a two-stage judging process. The first stage involved an assessment by the expert GHI editorial team. Qualifying entries were then reviewed by an independent panel of judges comprising expertise in ground handing, airline operations and airports.

A video of the award announcements can be found at

GHI has been serving the global ground handling industry for over 20 years by providing an essential blend of industry news, in-depth features and coverage of a wide range of issues of relevance to those involved in decision-making within the handling sector that includes all aspects of above and below the wing operations.

About Bangor International Airport

Located on America’s north eastern seaboard, Bangor International Airport is the closest U.S. Port-of-Entry from Europe, providing a wide range of commercial and general aviation services. Non-stop, affordable flights to New York, Orlando/Sanford, Philadelphia, Tampa/St. Pete and Washington, D.C. are supplemented by seasonal flights to Charlotte, Chicago and Detroit. BGR is currently served by Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. The airport is a leader in transatlantic tech stops, as well as a strategically important location for the U.S. military. BGR is an enterprise funded entity operated by the City of Bangor and is supported solely through airport generated revenue. For more information, visit