Washington, DC, May 14, 2014 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) paid tribute to the lifetime of professional achievements and contributions to the business aviation community made by James C. “Jim” Christiansen, whose passing was announced on May 13.
Christiansen was a career aviator who consistently worked to advance business aviation as an industry and profession, most recently in a partnership-development role at FlightSafety International. He also served as president of NetJets Aviation, Wayfarer Aviation, K-C Aviation Transport Services, Executive Jet Aviation and Executive Air Fleet/Jet Aviation Business Jets.
“Jim was a trusted, passionate and dedicated business aviation professional, who will be remembered as a leader for his tireless efforts to bring our community closer together and move it forward,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “He was a unifier and team builder, who helped lay the foundation for today’s fractional, on-demand charter and aircraft management industry segments.”
Christiansen chaired the FAA’s Fractional Ownership Aircraft Regulatory Committee (FOARC), and was instrumental in navigating sometimes contentious debates within the industry to hammer out then-new FAR Part 91K rules that today govern fractional operators. His leadership in bringing together varying interests also led to success in addressing issues for Part 135 on-demand charter operators.
Among his many industry affiliations, Christiansen served on NBAA’s Associate Member Advisory Council from 2004 to 2009. He was chairman of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) from 2001 to 2002, and member of NATA’s board of directors from 1999 to 2004. He was also a founding member and former chairman of the Air Charter Safety Foundation.
Christiansen began his aviation career as an Army helicopter pilot, and served in Vietnam, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and Air Medal “with V” and 26 Oak Leaf Clusters. He later qualified as a commercial pilot, instrument multiengine fixed wing and served as a commercial instructor in rotary wing, amassing more than 5,000 hours total flight time.
Christiansen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Montclair State College, and attended Stanford University’s executive training program.