NBAA presented its American Spirit Award to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee who is retiring at the end of his term after serving in Congress for 36 years. The longest-serving House member from Oregon, DeFazio has served on T&I throughout his congressional career.
“Our country has benefitted enormously from Chairman DeFazio’s decades of service to his constituents and his passionate commitment to representing the interests of the American people,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “He has always understood the importance of preserving America’s leadership in aviation, and the essential role that general aviation plays in our nation’s economy and transportation system.”
An original member of the House General Aviation Caucus that was formed in 2009, DeFazio was an architect behind certification reforms in the wake of the Boeing Max crashes and has continued to place pressure on the FAA to ensure changes are implemented. He further has been a strong voice on numerous other issues, from pilot fatigue and repair station oversight to aircraft noise, consumer rights, and air traffic controller staffing and protections. And he has been a steadfast opponent of efforts to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system, as well as pushed for legislation to shield FAA workers from government shutdowns.
NBAA honors individuals with the American Spirit Award who exemplify the courage, pursuit of excellence, and service to others that characterizes those who created and nurtured the American aviation community. Other recipients have included former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, former Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), record-setting pilot and aviation advocate Barrington Irving, and “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Sully Sullenberger.
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