Digital Original: Conway Airport hires first female director


CONWAY, Ark.- A new face at the Conway Municipal Airport at Cantrell Field.

The city of Conway has hired a new airport director – Michelle Anthony of Portia, which is in Lawrence County.

Anthony, 49, is the first female airport director for the Conway airport since it’s inception. She says she initially declined the position because it wasn’t the “right time”.

“Being a single mother I had to make sure that my daughter graduated first,” she explains.

Anthony comes from an aviation background working at other airports, including being a manager at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport before coming to Conway.

“Being in a male-dominated world can be tough but all the guys are nice and they treat me so well,” she explains. “Don’t let people tell you you can’t do anything. You try. You try hard.”

Anthony will be responsible for all airport management, including compliance with state and federal regulations. Other duties include overall airport operations including fueling. She says sometimes it can be difficult because of her height but she always finds a way to get it done.

“I’m 5’1 and a half – don’t forget the half,” she laughs. “It’s important to not be afraid to ask for help – you would be surprised by the reactions I get.”

The new Cantrell Field airport location opened in September 2014 with a 100-foot runway and a full-length taxiway equipped to handle a 747 aircraft. It’s a public-use airport located 10 miles southwest of Conway and near the Arkansas River.

Anthony says she hopes every girl understands that the sky truly is limitless.

“My boss at that time told me but I will give you a chance but I don’t think you can do that and I have a hard time being told I can’t do something when we both don’t know so I tried even harder,” Anthony says.

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