NGPA – The Worldwide LGBTQ Aviation Community – to Receive the 2022 Clifford Henderson Trophy

Washington, DC, April 12, 2022 – The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) is pleased to announce that NGPA – The Worldwide LGBTQ Aviation Community – has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Clifford Henderson Trophy.

The Henderson Trophy, which is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, was established in 1960 to honor the creator and Managing Director of the worldrenowned National Air Races from 1928-1939. Clifford Henderson’s work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development.

The trophy is awarded to “…a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.”

Previous recipients of the Clifford Henderson Trophy include Lieutenant General James Doolittle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Senator Barry Goldwater, The United States Air Force Academy, Tom Poberezny, Martha King, Scott Crossfield, The Ninety-Nines, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, and the 2021 recipient – The Tuskegee Airmen.

The NGPA is the largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) aviation professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. Founded in 1990, the NGPA is dedicated to building, supporting, and uniting the LGBTQ aviation community. Through education, social events, and outreach, the NGPA advances their goal of promoting aviation safety, providing a network for LGBTQ aviation professionals, fostering equal treatment of the LGBTQ aviation community through advocacy and outreach, and encouraging LGBTQ individuals to pursue careers in aviation.

For decades, the NGPA’s advocacy programs have made a difference in the everyday lives of LGBTQ aviation professionals. A team of dedicated volunteers travel to industry conferences to increase awareness, conduct events in support of LGBTQ youth and transgender pilots, and provide guidance and resources regarding FAA Medical Certification issues specific to LGBTQ pilots. The NGPA also commits a broad offering of resources toward the development and promotion of the benefits that diversity and inclusion strategies bring to all areas of aviation. This includes conducting seminars and training for airline leadership, working with representatives from government agencies, and collecting data to measure effectiveness. The NGPA’s goal of making workspaces welcoming to the LGBTQ community is critical to a safe and productive aviation industry.

Another effective way that the NGPA fulfills its mission is by providing scholarships to deserving candidates from both the LGBTQ and straight ally communities. NGPA scholarships help to alleviate the financial barrier to participating in aviation by providing assistance for Private Pilot Certificate training, Airline Transport Pilot certification, college degrees, and advanced technical programs. To date, the NGPA has awarded over $750,000 in scholarships to aspiring aviators to assist them in becoming qualified members of the worldwide aviation community.

“The Henderson Trophy has gone to so many who have worked to make aviation better, from James Doolittle to Scott Crossfield to Martha King, the Ninety-Nines, and the Tuskegee Airmen,” said NAA President Greg Principato. “So many have advanced not just the technology of flight, but also the idea that aviation’s opportunity should be fully available to all. The work of NGPA over so many years to build, support and unite the LGBTQ aviation community is in that proud tradition. Aviation is best when all can contribute to its advancement, and we are proud to recognize the work of the NGPA with the 2022 NAA Henderson Trophy.”

“To be honored amongst such outstanding individuals and organizations is truly humbling for all of us here at NGPA,” said Brian Gambino, NGPA’s President. “Our organization has been fueled by the selfless work of countless volunteers over NGPA’s 32-year history. This recognition by the NAA is further proof that inclusivity in aviation and aerospace is vital to the continued advancement of our industry.”

The presentation of the Henderson Trophy to the NGPA is planned for later this year, with a date and location to be announced. For more information, please visit

The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit