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NBAA's John H. Winant Award recognizes those who have demonstrated a lifelong passion for and service to business aviation. It is presented to former members of NBAA's Board of Directors whose service to the industry extends well beyond their tenure on the Board.
This award was created in honor of John H. Winant, the legendary Association leader who was a critical player in the evolution of business aviation. First presented in 2009, it is given annually during the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention. Review the list of Winant Award winners.
About John H. Winant
The John H. Winant Award is named for a leader whose legacy was defined by his lifelong passion for and service to business aviation. Born in 1923, Winant was associated with NBAA for more than five decades. He was elected to the Association’s Board of Directors in 1957 when he was vice president of the Sprague Electric Company, and he eventually held all of NBAA’s volunteer elected-officer positions.
While serving on the NBAA Board of Directors, Winant was appointed Association president in August 1971, and he served in that role until November 1986. During his presidency, membership in NBAA grew from 824 companies to almost 3,000, and the Annual Meeting & Convention became one of aviation's premier world events.
Winant was instrumental in the founding of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), a federation of 15 national and regional business aviation associations from around the world, including NBAA. He served as corporate secretary of IBAC from its founding in 1981 until 1989.
Throughout his career, Winant was involved with numerous other aviation organizations and served on a number of federal task forces and commissions. For example, he was technical advisor to the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), the organization established to advise the U.S. government on requirements and standards for aerial electronic and communication systems. He also was president of the Aviation Research and Education Foundation.
From its inception in 1975 until early 1987, Winant chaired the national advisory committee established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to oversee the Aviation Safety Reporting System, a confidential means of identifying deficiencies in the national aviation system.
In 1982, he served on the special Task Force on Airport Capacity Improvement and Delay Reduction, and in 1983, he was appointed to the Airport Task Force, a group created by Congress to streamline movement of aircraft and passengers. He was also asked to serve on the Advisory Commission on Reorganization of Metropolitan Washington Airports. Further, in 1986, Winant was chairman of a committee that identified early 21st century requirements for new aviation navigation, communication and surveillance systems, including satellite applications.
Even in retirement, Winant continued to support NBAA and business aviation. He authored two books on the history of the industry and the Association, titled Keep Business Flying and NBAA Works (as co-author).
During his long career, John Winant received many awards and honors, including lifetime achievement awards and special recognition from such diverse groups as the Aero Club of Washington, Air Line Pilots Association, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Safety Foundation, National Aeronautic Association, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization and RTCA. He died in 2009.
Pictured above: The NBAA Board Room at Washington, DC Headquarters is named in honor of John Winant, shown here with wife Kathryn.
John H. Winant Award Winners
- Jeff Lee (2015)
- No award given (2014)
- James Cooling (2013)
- Steve Nielsen (2012)
- Jim Cannon (2011)
- Paul Stinebring (2010)
- David Vornholt and Phil Roberts (2009)
Recipients of this award are determined by NBAA; nominations are not accepted.