The National Aeronautic Association Celebrates the OSIRIS-REx Team at Collier Dinner

Pictured: Robert Lightfoot, President, Lockheed Martin Space; Amy Spowart, President & CEO, NAA; Jim Albaugh, Board Chair, NAA; Mike Moreau, Deputy Project Manager, OSIRIS-REx, NASA; James Free, Associate Administrator, NASA.

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) honored the OSIRIS-REx Team with the 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy on June 13. The OSIRIS-Rex team includes Lockheed Martin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, The University of Arizona, and KinetX Aerospace, among many others.

The OSIRIS-REx team is recognized “for successfully executing the first American retrieval of an asteroid sample and its return to earth, enabling greater study of our solar system and the origin of life.”

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible!

Presenting Sponsor: Lockheed Martin

Silver Sponsors: Airbus Americas, Leonardo Helicopter

Premium Sponsors: Bombardier, Cargo Airlines Association, Gulfstream, KinetX

Check out photos from the Collier Dinner and Ceremony

Check out the video of the Collier Trophy presentation to the OSIRIS-REx Team

NAA Celebrates First Institutional Membership

The National Aeronautic Association offers a new membership level that unites colleges, universities, museums, and other places of learning with a focus on aviation and aerospace. Institutional members represent the past, present, and future of aviation. As spaces for learning, development, and research, institutional members support NAA’s mission of promoting the importance of aviation to the general public and advancing aeronautics.

The NAA is thrilled to recognize Cosmosphere located in Hutchinson, KS as the first Institutional Member.

Benefits include:

  • Recognition: Logo and hyperlink on and authorization to share NAA affiliation (logo, etc.) on the institutional website.
  • Networking: Exclusive networking opportunities that provide a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and potential partnerships.
  • Exposure: Special invites, access, and seating at NAA events.
  • Support: Unrestricted use of NAA webinars and records database for enhanced learning resources.
  • Opportunities: Dedicated access to NAA’s Corporate, Affiliate, and Aero Club members.
  • Influence: Eligibility to serve on selection committees for prestigious recognitions, including the Collier Trophy, Brewer Trophy and Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Awards.
  • Teambuilding: Each level of Institutional Membership includes individual memberships for member use.
  • Additional benefits to come…

Contact us today for more information!

Check-out the NAA Webinar on Safety in Aviation

On June 5th, the NAA hosted a webinar with aviation experts to discuss safety and aviation. Did you miss it?

Then you can catch it here.

Thank you to our panelists:

  • Shelly deZevallos, President, West Houston Airport and Aviation Subject Matter Expert & Thought Leader
  • Rebecca Lutte, Chair of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Robert Sumalt, Former NTSB Chair and Executive Director at the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at ERAU\

NAA Award News

Ben Baldanza Selected to Receive 2024 Wright Brothers Trophy Recipient

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) is pleased to announce that Ben Baldanza is the recipient of the 2024 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.

Baldanza, who has nearly four decades of experience in the airline industry, is considered a leading visionary for introducing the ultra-low-cost model to the United States, which expanded air travel access to millions of Americans. In 1986, Baldanza began his career at American Airlines and helped to develop the first hub-and-spoke and frequent flier system. In 2005, Baldanza joined Spirit Airlines as President and CEO, intending to drive down prices for travelers and create an avenue for middle-class and working-class Americans to fly to leisure destinations. His success in promoting the “unbundling” airplane model made travel more accessible to millions.

Baldanza will receive the Wright Trophy at the Aero Club of Washington’s 76th Annual Wright Memorial Dinner on December 13, 2024, in Washington, DC.

Watch this site for details on sponsorships and seats.

Check out the full Press Release here.

Irene Trowell-Harris to Receive Stinson Trophy

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) proudly announces that Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, USAF (Ret), is the 2023 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Trophy recipient. Trowell-Harris is selected for her career distinguished by groundbreaking achievements and lasting impact on aviation.

The accomplishments of Trowell-Harris, the granddaughter of an enslaved person, are defined by perseverance and commitment. In 1963, Trowell-Harris joined the U.S. Air National Guard as a First Lieutenant. A year later, she became a flight nurse, rapidly rising in the ranks to become an instructor, examiner, and then chief nurse. In 1993, she attained the rank of Major General. Following her retirement from the military in 2001, Trowell-Harris chose to work for the Veteran’s Administration. Her dedication to the well-being and empowerment of women veterans is a testament to her selflessness and commitment.

Check out the full Press Release here.

NAA Presents Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award to Rainbow Helicopters

On June 12th, NAA presented the Public Benefit Flying (PBF) Teamwork Award at the Vertical Aviation International reception to Nicole Battjes and Rainbow Helicopters, representing all General Aviation Pilots involved in the Maui Relief.

This award recognizes the outstanding efforts to transport essential supplies to displaced families on the island of Maui after the deadly wildfires of 2023.

The PBF Awards recognize volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and organizations engaged in flying to help others and those supporting such work.

Check out the full Press Release here.

Nomination News

Nominations are OPEN!

An integral part of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) mission is identifying and recognizing those who have contributed to the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight in the United States. NAA presents over a dozen yearly awards to honor achievements in aviation and space.

The following awards are OPEN for nominations:

  • 🏆 Harmon Aeronautic Trophy – July 15th
    Awarded for the most outstanding international achievement in the art and/or science of aeronautics (ballooning) for the calendar period of July 1 – June 30 of the previous year.
  • 🏆 Distinguished Statesman & Stateswoman of Aviation – August 31st
    Awarded to outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics, and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.
  • 🏆 Brewer Trophy – August 31st
    Awarded annually to an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.
  • 🏆 Public Benefit Flying Award – August 31st
    Honors volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others.

News from Our Corporate Members

NAA Corporate Members Recognized as Best in Aviation by Robb Report

Members of the National Aeronautic Association are drivers of innovations and often recognized for their excellence. Robb Report recently published their best of the best in aviation with efficiency and luxurious finishes in mind for short and long range trips.

Read more about the best of the best in aviation here.

MedAire Launches Mental Health Services Platform

Aviation medical and security service provider MedAire annouces the launch of its new peer counseling-based mental health service called MedAire Wellbeing Services. The initiative is a partnership with risk management and workplace wellbeing company OdiliaClark.

“MedAire has been the go-to resource for aviation professionals, ensuring their health and safety for decades,” said company CEO Bill Dolny. “We appreciate that an effective support system like our Wellbeing Services is vital to strengthening your safety culture. In partnership, we’re cultivating a supportive community, making certain that each voice is heard, each person is assisted, and each member is valued,”

Learn more about MedAire here.

CVG Paves the Way with New Aircraft Mechanic School

FEAM Aero, one of the largest leading providers of aircraft line maintenance services in the United States, has partnered with Epic Flight Academy to build a new aircraft mechanic training facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

“Partnering with educational institutions to prepare students for a career in aviation is a priority for us at CVG,” said Candace McGraw, CEO, CVG. “We look forward to welcoming Epic Flight Academy to our campus to complement our strong partnership with FEAM Aero. Together, we will transform lives and unlock new career opportunities for people in our region, all while helping fuel continued aviation economic growth in our region.”

Read more about CVG here.

Like What You See?

Consider donating to the NAA TODAY!

Your support of the National Aeronautic Association allows us to achieve the formal recognition of aviation achievement in the United States. Because of you, we can continue our mission to advance the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight by fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and by promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight.

The NAA is a 501(c)(3) that relies on the support of our members and donors like you. Please consider a tax-deductible gift today!

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Air Sports News

Remembering former AMA Executive Director Bob Underwood

Former AMA Executive Director Bob Underwood recently passed away at the age of 92. In addition to being executive director, he was the longtime technical director, the contest director for five Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) world championships, creator of the AMA Education Committee, chairman of the AMA Safety Committee, and founder of the National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA).

“Bob was a beloved member of the AMA community. His passion for the organization and model aviation will be forever remembered. For me, he was a colleague, leader, mentor, but most importantly, a friend,” said Rob Kurek, Director of Communications at AMA.

News Article about Bob


U.S. Women Sweep 2024 World Cup Paragliding in Interlaken

The 2024 Paragliding World Cup season kicked off in May in Interlaken, Switzerland. The USA took a clean sweep in the women’s competition! 🪂🏆

Congratulations to these amazing pilots:

🥇 Violeta Jimenez
🥈 Alexia Fischer
🥉 Jenny O’Neil

Interested in competing or watching a world cup? From September 7-14, the U.S. will host a paragliding world cup in Monroe, Utah.

U.S. Air Sports Organizations to Host International Competitions

Whether aeromodelling, glide, soaring, skydiving, ballooning, or hang-gliding, the United States Air Sports Organizations are at the forefront of these disciplines. NAA Air Sports members, the driving force behind these sports, host international competitions that attract participants and fans from around the world. If you’re passionate about aviation, these events are a must-see! They bring together over 30 countries, creating a global community of air sports enthusiasts.

Join us in supporting your American airsports athletes today!

August 12th – 17th: 2024 FAI F2 World Championship for Control Line Model Aircraft (AMA) – Muncie, Indiana

August 17th – 31st: 38th FAI World Gliding Championships (SSA) – Uvalde, Texas

October 5th – 11th: FAI World Skydiving Championships in Formation Skydiving, Artistic Events, Wingsuit Flying, World Speed Skydiving (USPA) – Beaufort, NC

A full list of events can be found on our website!

News from our Affiliate Members

AIAA Celebrates Excellence at Awards Gala

On May 15th, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) celebrated excellence and achievement at their annual awards gala. During the awards gala, AIAA celebrated the Class of 2024 Honorary Fellows and Fellows, AIAA Premier Awards, and the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for Design and Development.

AIAA honorary fellows recognize preeminent individuals who have made significant contributions to the aerospace industry and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. In 1933, Orville Wright became the first AIAA Honorary Fellow. Today, 242 people have been named AIAA Honorary Fellow. NAA Board of Director, John Langford, Founder & CEO of was inducted as a 2024 Honorary Fellow.

Next year’s AIAA award gala will take place on April 30th at the Grand Hyatt, Washinton DC.

A4A and NATCA Take Part in State of the Airline Industry POLITICO Panel

On June 12th, Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Legislative Policy, Airlines For America (A4A) and Rich Santa, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) took part in a POLITICO panel focused on the state of the airline industry.

The panel was part of an event featuring conversations with government leaders and aviation stakeholders on the future of the airline industry as carriers expect record demand this summer. Other panelists included Hassan Shahidi, President & CEO, Flight Safety Foundation and Erin Witte, Director of Consumer Protection, Consumer Federation of America.

Watch the panel discussion here.

NBAA’s White Plains Regional Forum Achieves Sold-Out Success

On June 12th, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) held a highly successful and sold-out White Plains Regional Forum at the Westchester County Airport (HPN). The forum offered an opportunity for local officials to get an up-close look at business aviation’s essential role in the White Plains community and beyond.

NAA Corporate members were on site showcasing their innovative products and services: Aviation Partners, Bombardier, Cirrus, FlightSafety International, Honda Aircraft Company, Leonardo Helicopters, MedAire, Rolls-Royce, Signature Flight Support, Textron Aviation.

Read more about the forum here.

Summer Events

Affiliate Member Summer Events

Institutional and Aero Club Member Summer Events

Air Sports Summer Events