Alexandria, VA, March 21, 2012 - The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) annually recognizes individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service. NATA's Industry Excellence Awards are given to exceptional individuals and organizations that have helped improve the general aviation community. This year's winners will be honored during the NATA Industry Excellence Awards Dinner on March 28 at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. The dinner will be held in conjunction with the association's FBO Leadership Conference, Day on the Hill, Annual Meeting and Election of Officers, and Spring Committee Meetings - collectively called NATA's A Capital Week for Aviation Business.
"This year's presentation holds a few surprises, namely the winners of the association's two highest honors, the William A. "Bill" Ong Memorial Award and the NATA Award for Distinguished Service," said NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. "The award winners may now be a secret, but once they have been named, no one will be surprised that these two well respected and highly admired individuals in our industry are being honored."
NATA will also present five awards to the following recipients:
Ronald Donner, editor of Aircraft Maintenance Technology (AMT) magazine, will receive the Aviation Journalism Award that identifies a journalist, writer, or publication excelling in consumer education or editorial support that is beneficial to the FBO/Air Charter industry. After working in aviation, in particular aircraft maintenance for more than 35 years, Donner now successfully uses his vast aviation experience to relate closely to the aircraft maintenance community and AMT readership. In the two years under Donner's editorial leadership, AMT has expanded editorial content to include aircraft maintenance topics in all segments of aviation: airline, business aviation, helicopters, and military aviation; yet has maintained regular focus on general aviation maintenance. His proudest achievement has been the successful introduction of the popular "MRO Operations" feature in AMT, which highlights the expanding FAR Part 145 repair station maintenance activity, in all aviation segments including general and business aviation.
The Richmond Flight Standards District Office will be the recipient of NATA's FAA Customer Service Excellence Award and will be recognized as an FAA facility that has represented the highest degree of customer service and elevated the quality of interaction between the FAA and aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, Part 135 certificate holders, airport service organizations, and flight schools. They were nominated for their dedication and swiftness in working with Orion Air Group during its establishment of Tempus Jet Centers and the company's Part 145 certification process. Darren A. American, principal maintenance inspector, and his certification team, Principal Avionics Inspector Dale Herner and Aviation Safety Inspector Elizabeth Davidson, were named in the nomination as having demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism by providing assistance above and beyond what is required in the performance of their duties as aviation safety inspectors.
The ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award (sponsored by Aircraft Technical Publishers) acknowledges the exceptional performance of a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic or radio repairman who has practiced his or her craft for a period of 20 or more years. The award will be given posthumously to John (Ray) Hartley for his long-time career at StandardAero and work as manager and chief inspector - QA inspection at StandardAero's facility at LAX. Hartley's talents, knowledge and experience as well as his enthusiasm, commitment to the industry and willingness to lend a hand are but just a few of the attributes that qualify him for this honor. His family and colleagues will be on hand to celebrate Hartley's professionalism, knowledge, humor, kindness, and friendship.
David Edwards, Jr., president and CEO of Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, is this year's recipient of the NATA Airport Executive Partnership Award. The Airport Executive Partnership Award recognizes an airport manager for his or her outstanding efforts to foster relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators. Recipients of the award must illustrate leadership in the "partnership" between airport operators and airport tenants. With more than 20 years of airport management experience, Edwards has strong credentials in the areas of business development, properties, government affairs, operations and international marketing. He has been an instrumental player in working with the General Aviation Infrastructure Investment Coalition (GAIIC), a group formed by FBOs to increase positive economic growth in long-term investments at airports by encouraging private sector investments. Direct results of this growth will be upgraded facilities, job creation, and essential services to the aviation community.
Joseph Gravalec and Robert Kintner, Jr., owners of Superior Flight School, will receive the Excellence In Pilot Training Award for their outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training. Gravalec and Kintner have helped countless new pilots understand the meaning of being a professional pilot, regardless of whether their goal was to pursue a career as a professional pilot, use the flying skills as a tool for their business or just use the skills for a recreational hobby. They teach their students and renters how to have fun with their new skill as well as the importance of always looking for ways to improve. Superior Flight School is described by many as a well-managed organization with a knowledgeable staff connected and responsive to the needs of their clients.
"We look forward to honoring the best in the industry and ask that you join us," added Coyne. "The awards dinner and presentation is included in day one of the FBO Leadership Conference, but tickets are also available separately for those only able to attend the evening's festivities."
Contact Elizabeth Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on NATA's Industry Excellence Awards Dinner and Presentation and to secure tickets.
NATA, the voice of aviation business, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before the Congress and federal agencies.