Today AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey was announced as the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. Since its formulation in 1948, the Trophy has been awarded by the National Aeronautic Association to living Americans in order to recognize “significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”
“I’m deeply honored to be named the 2013 recipient of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy,” Blakey said in response to this collegial honor. “This trophy symbolizes the spirit of innovation and exploration that drives our nation to lead the world in aviation. From early aviation pioneers like Charles Lindbergh and Gen. Doolittle to astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, the Americans who have received this award have been leaders in a field that energizes our economy and upholds our national security. I feel very privileged to join their ranks.”
Walter Boyne, Chairman of the National Aeronautic Association and a member of the Selection Committee, praised the choice. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of Marion Blakey for the Wright Trophy,” Boyne said. “She has been a public servant of the highest order and one of the leading advocates of our nation’s aerospace industry.”
Prior to being the aerospace and defense industry’s top representative as the President and CEO of AIA, Blakey held numerous other prominent positions within government that enabled her to contribute significantly to the advancement of U.S. aviation. Her service includes former FAA Administrator and Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board along with four additional presidential appointments. Under her leadership at FAA, Blakey launched the Next Generation Air Transportation System − the shift to a satellite-based air traffic management system that will modernize air transportation, save fuel, and decrease delays.
“The long list of recipients of this most historic award reflects the diversity of leadership of our nation’s aviation and aerospace industry,” said Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA and Chairman of the Selection Committee. “Over its 65-year history, the Wright Trophy has been awarded to industrialists, explorers, innovators, and public servants. Ms. Blakey has joined a remarkable group of Americans.”
Past trophy recipients include astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and John Glenn, political figures like former Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and Senator Howard W. Cannon, and pioneers of industry Robert J. Stevens and Donald W. Douglas, Sr.
The award will be presented to Marion Blakey at the Memorial Dinner hosted by the Aero Club of Washington on Friday, December 13, 2013. To read the National Aeronautical Association’s press release honoring Blakey with the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, please visit: naa.aero.