Members of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) elected Victor Bird of Oklahoma chairman of the board of directors for 2010 at their annual convention and tradeshow in Tucson, Arizona, last month.
Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, is well known in his home state for frequently addressing aviation issues in wide and diverse venues . . . an effort he refers to as “airvangelism.” A member of NASAO since 2002, Bird previously served as NASAO’s vice chairman, treasurer, and secretary of the board.
“Aviation, the world’s first Internet, is facing some of the most serious challenges in its history. Making sure that the U.S. air transportation system continues to effectively serve communities – metropolitan and micropolitan – across our country and replacing an aging workforce are two of the more daunting challenges we face,” said Bird.
Randall Burdette, director of the Virginia Department of Aviation, was elected vice chairman, while Joe Pestka, administrator of aviation for the Missouri Department of Transportation, was elected treasurer and Debbie Alke, administrator, Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, was elected secretary. Immediate past chairman Travis Vallin, director, Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics, continues to serve on the NASAO Executive Committee.
The association’s awards also were presented at the convention:
The Kenneth A. Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award: The highest award NASAO members may present to a fellow aviation agency director was presented to Dr. David Fulton, a former NASAO president, who has been the director of the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division since 1992 after serving with the Tennessee Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics for 16 years.
2009 Most Innovative State Program Award: This award salutes a single state for finding a solution to a challenging problem of the past year. The Colorado Division of Aeronautics was recognized this year for its Non-Federal Sensor Data Collection System. The Colorado project allows state-collected weather information to be shared throughout the national weather system, enhancing aviation safety and advancing technology of NextGen.
2009 Distinguished Service Award: In a rare tie, this highest recognition that can be presented to state aviation agency employees was awarded to two recipients for excellence in service and dedication to aviation progress and development in their states: Cynthia Kever, Missouri Department of Transportation Aviation Section, and Karon Wiedemann, Texas Department of Transportation Division of Aviation.
2009 Center Aviation Education Program Award: This award recognizes the efforts of the state aviation agencies to educate and motivate the public with aviation-related education programs. This year the Arizona Aeronautics Division received the award for its Aerospace Badge Workshop.
NASAO National Service Award for Lifetime Achievement: Presented to three World War II Women Army Service Pilots, Sylvia Clayton, Lee Doerr, and Ruth Helm, who reside in Arizona.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials is one of the most senior aviation organizations in the United States, predating even the FAA’s predecessor, the Civil Aeronautics Authority. Since its founding in 1931, the association has represented the men and women in state government aviation agencies, who serve the public interest in the states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
For more information: NASAO.org