Dedication for nearly $1M upgrade at Wayne, Neb., airport is full of surprises

Gov. Dave Heineman (in red shirt) prepares to leave Wayne on Sunday afternoon in the state jet after participating in a ceremony to dedicate a new airport terminal at Stan Morris Field in Wayne.

WAYNE, Neb. — Surprises were the order of the day in a ceremony here Sunday dedicating a new airport terminal at Stan Morris Field.

Several guests helped Wayne celebrate a nearly $1 million upgrade to its airport.

Gov. Dave Heineman, Rep. Adrian Smith, State Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins and the Wayne State College band were on hand, along with Stan Morris, the airport’s namesake.

Heineman delivered one of the biggest surprises of the day: He ended his remarks by dedicating the nearly finished terminal as the Nancy Braden Terminal Building.

Braden is the finance manager for the City of Wayne and a member of the Wayne Airport Authority. She was instrumental in getting the terminal project off the ground.

“I am just shocked,” Braden said. “I certainly didn’t expect this. I am truly honored and humbled.”

The new terminal will house a pilot’s lounge, a conference room, an airport manager’s office and a welcome center. It will cost around $950,000 when it is completed in October.

After working with the airport for the past 28 years, Braden understands the value of the upgrade.

“The airport is really the front door to our community,” she said. “And we really have a beautiful, modern front door with the completion of this project. I couldn’t be more proud and happy.”

Braden also received the second big surprise of the day as her daughter, Makayla, sneaked into the crowd.

“That is the best surprise of all,” Braden said.

Makayla flew from Denver into Omaha the night before the ceremony but stayed away from her mother to keep the terminal naming announcement a surprise until the actual ceremony.

“It was hard not to come see her right away,” Makayla said.

Makayla said she wouldn’t have missed her mother’s big day for anything.

“I am so proud of her as a mother and as a businesswoman,” Makayla said. “She is a very special lady I have looked up to my entire life — and, of course, I love her.”

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