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NBAA's Bolen Receives Award for Service to General Aviation

November 15, 2012

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen has been honored for his years of service to general aviation (GA) by receiving the Charles Lindbergh General Aviation Diploma, which is given annually by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) to those who have contributed significantly to the progress and success of GA in either air sport or transportation, or in the work of international bodies concerned with GA.

Bolen received the award during a ceremony held during the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Fall Awards Banquet held on Nov. 13 in Washington, DC.

“Mr. Bolen has had a major, positive impact on the world’s general aviation community for well over a decade and is a most worthy recipient of the Charles Lindbergh General Aviation Diploma,” said NAA President Jonathan Gaffney, who personally presented the award to Bolen.

FAI is the keeper of world records for aviation and is dedicated to furthering aeronautical and astronautical activities worldwide. NAA is the United States’ representative to FAI. In bestowing the award, the FAI’s General Aviation Commission determined that Bolen had “contributed significantly over a period of not less than 10 years to the progress and success of general aviation.”

Ed Bolen became the president and CEO of NBAA on Sept, 7, 2004. Prior to joining NBAA, he was president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for eight years.

Bolen is the immediate past chairman of RTCA, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that advises the Federal Aviation Administration on technical issues. He also serves on the Aviation Advisory Board of the Mitre Corporation, a federally funded research and development corporation. In addition, Bolen is a member of the Flight Safety Foundation Board of Governors and the NAA Board of Directors. He also serves on the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of The National Academies.

In receiving the award, Bolen thanked NAA, saying he was especially gratified to receive the Lindbergh Diploma this year, the 85th anniversary of the intrepid aviator’s pioneering solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. “To be mentioned in the same breath as an aviation icon such as Lindbergh is a true honor.”

While grateful that he received the Lindbergh Diploma, Bolen told those at the awards ceremony that America needs to recognize that general aviation is vital to the country: It supports 1.2 million stable, high-wage jobs; serves as a lifeline for small and medium-size cities and towns; helps American businesses compete and succeed in a very demanding marketplace; and is a lifesaver for people in need.

Most recently, business aviation has been instrumental in providing relief for victims of “Superstorm” Sandy, noted Bolen.

"The business aviation community has repeatedly demonstrated its readiness to step forward to help in the wake of natural disasters,” he said, noting the industry’s coordinated efforts to fly in medical and other supplies following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. "The industry has again snapped into action with a variety of efforts to help people and communities following Superstorm Sandy.”

“It is efforts such as these that underscore the value of business aviation to America and make me proud to be an advocate for the industry," concluded Bolen.