President’s Message

As I write this, I am in my third week as President & CEO of the National Aeronautic Association. In the weeks since it was announced I was joining NAA, I have spent a great deal of time answering one basic question: “What is NAA, and why do you want to go there?” (I guess that’s two basic questions).

I tell them about our long history, going all the way back to the Wright Brothers, and that we were originally formed because many people were slow to recognize the importance and potential of aviation, and about all we have done over the years to change that.

They are impressed, but they often respond that aviation’s importance is now obvious so why do we need such an organization. I tell them that the fact that aviation’s importance is obvious may be true, but it is all too often also taken for granted. And taking something for granted is often just as dangerous as not understanding it. I tell them that we need an organization like NAA as much as we ever have. And that is why I am excited to be here.

Aviation has long celebrated its past, embraced its present and shaped its future. The work we do, by our awards program honoring past achievement, and our records program honoring the accomplishments of today, helps provide the energy by which we will shape an even better future. By looking for ways to tell the story of aviation, NAA can further honor the legacy of its founding and history by ensuring that more and more people will understand, and fewer and fewer will take aviation for granted. By its very nature, that work will never end.

It has long been my view that we in the aviation community spend a lot of time talking to one another, and not enough time telling our story more broadly. I very much hope that by the time my tenure here has come to an end, we will have made substantial progress in changing that.

I look forward to meeting and working with you. Please feel free to be in touch. My email is [email protected]. My phone number is
703-416-4888 ext 101.

Greg Principato
President & CEO