Donna Stevens named Master Instructor Emeritus

Donna M Stevens, a 6-time Master and charter SAFE member, was recently granted Master Instructor Emeritus status in recognition of her many years of commitment to excellence, professional growth, service to the aviation community, and quality aviation education.  Donna is the lead flight and ground instructor as well as owner of DonnAir Aviation ( at Valparaiso’s Porter County Regional Airport (VPZ).  She also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s South Bend FSDO area.   

Master Instructors LLC takes great pride in announcing a significant aviation accomplishment on the part of Donna M Stevens, the owner of DonnAir Aviation and a resident of Chesterton, Indiana.  Recently, Donna was granted the title of Master Instructor Emeritus (MIE / MCFI-E) by Master Instructors LLC, the international accrediting authority for the Master Instructor designation as well as the FAA-approved “Master Instructor Program.”She first earned this national professional accreditation in 2002 and is one of only 30 worldwide to earn the credential six times.”

To help put this achievement in its proper perspective, there are approximately 96,000 CFIs in the United States.  Fewer than 700 of them have achieved Master status thus far.  The last 17 national Flight Instructors of the Year were Master CFIs (see:  Donna is one of only 15 Indiana aviation educators to earn this prestigious “Master” title and is one of only 18 worldwide to be granted EMERITUS status.

In the words of former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, “The Master Instructor accreditation singles out the best that the right seat has to offer.

Emeritus status is an honorary title that may be conferred upon an individual Master in recognition of her/his years of dedication and commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.  Since the inception of the Master Instructor program more than fifteen years ago, hundreds of professional aviation educators have earned initial Master accreditation followed by biennial renewals.  Many of those veteran Masters are now cutting back or retiring altogether from active aviation education.

The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA.  Candidates must pass a rigorous evaluation by a peer review board.  The process parallels the continuing education regimen used by other professionals to enhance their knowledge base while increasing their professionalism.  Designees are recognized as outstanding aviation educators for not only their excellence in teaching, but for their engagement in the continuous process of learning — both their own, and their students’.  The designation must be renewed biennially and significantly surpasses the FAA requirements for renewal of the candidate’s flight instructor certificate.

Change Is In The Air

Change is in the Air…

The Porter County Municipal Airport Authority is changing the name of the airport to the Porter County Regional Airport.

The Porter County Municipal Airport Authority is refining the name of the County’s airport, which was originally established in 1949, to reflect the broader regional presence that the airport now serves. The airport will now be identified as Porter County Regional Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the name change, with the issuance of an Airport Operating Certificate effective April 5th, 2011.

“Our airport serves as a gateway to the region, and the name change better reflects the opportunity that the airport has to offer in its support of regional economic growth.” says Airport Director Kyle J. Kuebler. “The development of the airport over the last sixty (60) years has yielded a runway infrastructure that supports air carrier type aircraft and the largest business jet. This allows the airport to better fulfill its mission of air transportation access to our community, and how that relates to increased business activity for our region.

Airport Authority President Paul R. Chael stated that, “The Porter County Regional name change will serve to build a stronger awareness as to the viable asset that this airport represents, complimenting the nationally integrated transportation/logistics networks found here in our region of the Midwest.” “This change will also create more recognition for the airport’s vital role as a catalyst for enhancing local economic growth.”

Porter County Regional Airport was established in 1949. It has a primary East-West Runway of 7000’, and a secondary (crosswind) Runway of 4000’. Based on data disseminated by the Indiana Department of Transportation, Office of Aviation, the airport was ranked #1 for Based Aircraft in 2010 (169). The airport was also ranked #3 in Total Operations (estimated) in 2010 (70,304). The airport was named the 2008 Indiana Airport Of The Year by the Aviation Association of Indiana (AAI).


AAI Scholarship Press Release – Final

For More Information Contact:

Craig Williams, Scholarship Committee Chairman
Aviation Association of Indiana
Phone: 260-446-3427

For Immediate Release April 22, 2011


Porter County Regional Airport Partners with Aviation Association of Indiana to Seek Applicants for Aviation Scholarships

The Porter County Regional Airport, working in partnership with the Aviation Association of Indiana, is pleased to announce that the Aviation Association of Indiana Scholarship Fund Inc. is accepting applications for college students who are pursuing aviation related degrees for flight, maintenance and aviation administration.

To be eligible, a student must be a graduate of an Indiana high school, enrolled in a two or four year aviation program at an Indiana College or University, actively participating in extracurricular activities or work experience, and have an unmet financial need. Applications must be received by May 15, 2011.

Last year, six students were each awarded $1,500 scholarships. Applications are also available at

About the Aviation Association of Indiana Scholarship Fund

The Aviation Association of Indiana Scholarship Fund Inc. is a 501 (C) 3 formed in 1996 to administer, operate and conduct an annual scholarship award program for students enrolled in an aviation technology department of an Indiana college or university.

AAI Presents it’s fifth annual AOTY Award



Porter County Municipal Airport was chosen to receive AAI’s fifth “Airport of the Year”
award and was given a cash grant at the Annual Conference in the amount of $1,000 to be
donated to an eligible 501(c) community organization of its choosing. Porter County
chose to divide its grant evenly between the Civil Air Patrol, EAA Chapter 104, Indiana
Aviation Museum and the Porter County Pilots Association.

In making the selection of the Porter County Municipal Airport, Karen Arland,Chairperson of the Awards Committee, highlighted the role the Airport has played in thecommunity with its excellent corporate citizenship and fiscal stewardship. It activelypromotes aviation education and regularly hosts programs for the EAA Chapter 104 and itsYoung Eagles. Also, Porter County is currently organizing an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting(ARFF) Response.

On behalf of AAI, Bruce Payton and Bart Giesler traveled to Porter County in December to present the award to the Porter County Council.

Airport Manager Named Indiana Aviation Person Of The Year-2003

Airport Manager Named Indiana Aviation Person Of The Year

October, 2003

Valparaiso – Porter County Municipal Airport Manager Kyle J. Kuebler was the recipient of the Indiana Aviation Person Of The Year Award at the Aviation Association Of Indiana’s Fifty-sixth Annual Conference. The award honors and recognizes the recipient’s dedication, commitment, and contribution to aviation within the State Of Indiana.

Kuebler began his career with the Porter County Municipal Airport being hired as a part-time Linemen in December, 1984. He was later hired to a full-time status as Linemen in June, 1986. Upon the sudden passing of the airport’s previous Manager, Eunice Laughery, Kuebler was then promoted to the position of Airport Manager in May, 1991.

Working with and under the direction of the Airport Authority, Kuebler has guided the airport during a period in which there has been an increase in the physical size of the facility through the expansion projects that have been accomplished, while at the same time also realizing a greater utilization of the facility from an aviation operational stand point. Since 1991, nearly $8 M in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds have returned to the community with related projects at only a five percent (5%) local cost. These projects include the development of a new North-South Runway for the airport, the reconstruction and one thousand feet (1000’) extension to the East-West Runway, and a Security Fencing Project.

Also, over $3.5 M in locally funded projects (not funded under AIP) have been developed in the last seven years, enhancing services provided without increase to the tax rate. These projects include the development of the airport’s Corporate Complex/Terminal Building, a Tee Hangar Facility, an Aviation Fuel Storage Facility, and the site development of additional area to support Corporate and Individual Aircraft Hangars.

Kuebler currently serves as President of the Aviation Association Of Indiana (AAI), and has been a Director on AAI’s Board since 1995. Kuebler has previously held the offices of Vice-President (2000-2001), Secretary (1999), and Conference Committee Chairman (1998-2000).

Kuebler holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University (1995). He is a Pilot, accumulating nearly seven hundred (700) total hours flight time, and holds a Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine Land Rating, and Advanced/Instrument Ground Instructor Ratings. Kuebler resides in the Town Of Kouts where he serves as a Volunteer Firefighter. He has been married thirteen (13) years to his wife Jamie, with two daughters Kylie – 6, and Holly – 2.