NBAA Names International Jet Aviation, Make-A-Wish Foundation 2014 Humanitarian Award Recipients

Sept. 17, 2014
NBAA's 2014 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership will be presented to these organizations on Oct. 21 during the Opening General Session of the 2014 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014) in Orlando, FL.

Washington, DC, Sept. 17, 2014 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is pleased to announce that International Jet Aviation Services of Centennial, CO and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have been named as co-recipients of NBAA’s 2014 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership.

The award will be presented to these organizations on Oct. 21 during the Opening General Session of the 2014 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014) in Orlando, FL.

In 1990, International Jet designated the Make-A-Wish Foundation as its official humanitarian organization. Since then, International Jet has periodically provided children with serious illnesses, identified by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with rides aboard a dedicated Lear business jet, which International Jet paints in a special and inspiring rainbow paint scheme, named “Dream Chaser.”

In January 2014, Dream Chaser 4 operated 10, 40-minute sightseeing flights for more than 50 children across four states, with the plane's flight crew, fuel and operation provided by International Jet. In addition to experiencing sightseeing flights over their communities, the children were also able to sign the aircraft's exterior, visit with the flight crews and sit in the aircraft's pilot seat and become “celebrities for a day” in recorded interviews with Make-A-Wish personnel and International Jet employees.

“We are honored to present the Al Ueltschi humanitarian award to these organizations in recognition of their effort, which demonstrates one of the most inspiring roles of our industry: to use aircraft for providing many kinds of humanitarian lift – in this case, a kind of support that raises spirits and fulfills dreams,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Thanks to the efforts of International Jet and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, these children were able to briefly leave their concerns on the ground, and experience the magic of flight.”

Created in 2006, the Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership is named for Albert L. Ueltschi, who has been widely recognized for his lifetime of dedication to philanthropic causes, most notably in the development of the international non-profit organization ORBIS, which is dedicated to preventing blindness and saving sight.

Past recipients of the award include:

  • Acclaimed actor and accomplished pilot Harrison Ford, for his repeated participation in support of humanitarian and charitable flights (2013)
  • FedEx Express and its founder, Frederick W. Smith, for support of ORBIS (2012)
  • Former U.S. Senate majority leader, surgeon and humanitarian pilot Bill Frist (2011)
  • The donors and volunteers in the business aviation community who responded to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti following a devastating earthquake (2010)
  • The Civil Air Patrol, in recognition of its work to provide disaster relief for people and communities in times of crisis (2009)
  • Corporate Angel Network, for providing free flights aboard business aircraft to enable cancer patients to receive treatments (2008)
  • Veterans Airlift Command, in recognition of the organization's work to provide flights for wounded soldiers, veterans and their families (2007)
  • Cessna Aircraft Company, in recognition of the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift (2006)

NBAA2014 will take place Oct. 21 to 23 at the Orange County Convention Center, with an expansive exhibit floor featuring more than 1,000 exhibiting companies, as well as an indoor light business aircraft static display inside the convention center, and an outdoor static display of aircraft at nearby Orlando Executive Airport.