Penton’s Aviation Week Network Announces Laureate Awards Finalists

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Penton’s Aviation Week Network has announced the 2016 Finalists for the Laureate Awards, which recognize extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in aviation, aerospace, and defense.

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Penton’s Aviation Week Network has announced the 2016 Finalists for the Laureate Awards, which recognize extraordinary achievements of individuals and teams in aviation, aerospace, and defense.

Each year, Aviation Week looks to honor those who embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision, as well as those who exemplify the values and visions of the global aerospace industry.

The categories for 2016 include Commercial Aviation, Defense, Space, Innovation, Technology, Business Aviation, Lifetime Achievement, and Heroism. The finalists for each category are as follows:

Commercial Aviation

  •     John Crichton, President and CEO, Nav Canada
  •     FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing Program
  •     Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines
  •     Saab and LFV


  •     General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
  •     The U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program
  •     Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
  •     Raytheon


  •     Dawn Flight Mission Team
  •     Inmarsat and Honeywell
  •     Lockheed Martin and NASA
  •     NASA’s New Horizons Mission Team


  •     Aurora Flight Sciences
  •     Lockheed Martin Skunk Work’s Fifth to Fourth Team
  •     The Northrop Grumman/Naval Air System Command
  •     Flightradar24


  •     ACAS Development and Flight Test Team
  •     NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project
  •     Northrop Grumman
  •     Reaction Engines

Business Aviation

  •     Scott Ernest
  •     FlightSafety International and Gulfstream Aerospace
  •     Gulfstream Aerospace
  •     Simon Pryce

Lifetime Achievement

  •     Charles Elachi


  •     U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gregory Swarz

The 59th Annual Laureate Awards will be presented on March 3, 2016 during a ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

Penton’s Aviation Week Network is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries. Industry professionals rely on Aviation Week for analysis, marketing and intelligence. The product portfolio includes Aviation Week & Space Technology, AC-U-KWIK, Aircraft Blue Book,, Air Charter Guide, Air Transport World,, Aviation Week Intelligence Network, Business & Commercial Aviation, ShowNews, SpeedNews, Fleet and MRO forecasts, global conferences & exhibitions in the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) industry and aerospace & defense conferences.


Nominee Information


John Crichton, president and CEO of Nav Canada, for transforming a government bureaucracy into one of the world’s most innovative air traffic control (ATC) organizations and making it a model for ATC privatization.

FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program, a collaborative industry/government initiative to share and analyze safety data across the industry to identify safety concerns before accidents occur.

Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, for building up a fast-growing, long-haul hub in Addis Ababa and turning Ethiopian into one of Africa’s most successful carriers.

Saab and LFV, Sweden’s air navigation service provider, for completing operational implementation of the world’s first remote air traffic control tower and remote tower center.


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for its development of the Reaper Extended Range, a rapidly executed upgrade of the original Predator B/Reaper design with a big performance increase.

The U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness program, for bringing into operation two spacecraft that can spy on other satellites in orbit, pioneering a new capability and potentially altering the way wars are fought.

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for development and flight testing of the Automated Air Collision Avoidance System (Auto ACAS), which predicts collisions and automatically maneuvers fighter aircraft to avoid mid-air crashes in training exercises. The system is projected to save 34 aircraft, 25 pilot lives and $2.3 billion over the next 15 years.

Raytheon for its evolutionary work on the Tomahawk long-range, precision-strike cruise missile. The contractor’s Tomahawk upgrades have provided important new capabilities, rapidly corrected flaws and successively lowered costs with each variant.


Dawn Flight Mission Team. In 2015, NASA’s Orbital Sciences-built spacecraft, carrying instruments from teams in Italy, Germany and the U.S., became the first robotic spacecraft to enter orbit around two celestial bodies and is now well into science observation of the large asteroid Ceres for evidence of water and now-famous bright spots that could be ice or water.

Inmarsat and Honeywell, for achieving key milestones in 2015 with the three-satellite, $1.6-billion Global Express high-throughput communications network. Inmarsat and airborne equipment developer Honeywell conducted the first flight tests of broadband services such as streaming video, live radio, conference calls and downloading files.

Lockheed Martin and NASA, for the successful completion of the first orbital test flight of the Orion spacecraft, part of the Space Launch System-based architecture for future human exploration of the solar system.

NASA’s New Horizons Mission Team. After nine-and-a-half years, the piano-sized spacecraft completed its flyby of Pluto and began a year-long data dump of images and sensor measurements, revealing a spectacular, bizarre world of water-ice mountains floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen.


Aurora Flight Sciences, whose Orion set an endurance record for unmanned aircraft by achieving a flight of more than 80 hours, shattering the previous endurance record of 30.5 hours set by the Global Hawk in 2001.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ Fifth to Fourth team, for demonstrating a rapid ability to test communications networking across different generations of U.S. Air Force platforms.

The Northrop Grumman/Naval Air Systems Command team that performed the first autonomous aerial refueling of an unmanned aircraft, the X-47B. The groundbreaking demonstration of autonomously rendezvousing and receiving fuel, will increase the range and capability of future unmanned aircraft.

Flightradar24 co-founders Mikael Robertsson and Olov Lindberg for setting up the world’s largest crowd-sourced aircraft tracking network. The company has become an invaluable source of independent data, providing early clues in high-profile accidents.


ACAS Development and Flight Test team, comprising the FAA, NASA, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Honeywell and BAE Systems. The Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS X) marries sensors and algorithms, with the goal of preventing all mid-air collisions, including those involving unmanned aircraft.

NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation project, for developing and demonstrating performance-improving technologies that could be used to make the next generation of civil aircraft more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly.

Northrop Grumman, for helping make the Northern Edge exercise in June 2015 the largest live, virtual and constructive air-to-air training event ever. Ten different virtual sites interacted with live aircraft and integrated air defense systems in Alaska, linked by the Northrop-developed system.

Reaction Engines, for advancing propulsion technology that could potentially enable a vehicle to accelerate from a runway all the way to low-Earth orbit using one-sixth the fuel of a rocket engine. The feasibility of the U.K. company’s concept was confirmed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in 2015.


Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation, and Scott Donnelly, chairman, president and CEO of Textron, for saving bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft, rejuvenating Cessna with aircraft upgrades and new turbine models, expanding the companies’ support network and creating a new simulator manufacturing and training division.

FlightSafety International and Gulfstream Aerospace, whose team of programmers, trainers and test pilots developed civil aviation’s first upset prevention and recovery training program that includes an FAA-certified flight simulator with extended aerodynamic models to accurately replicate flight beyond the edge of the envelope.

Gulfstream Aerospace, for setting new standards in safety with the Symmetry flight deck for its new G500 business jet. Developed in partnership with BAE Systems, Honeywell and Elbit Systems, the flight deck includes active sidesticks, touchscreens, a cutting-edge enhanced vision system and synthetic vision.

Simon Pryce, the CEO of BBA Aviation, for building the largest international business aviation service organization in the world, which is on pace to exceed 200 fixed based operations, along with a managed aircraft and charter fleet of more than 100 business jets.


Charles Elachi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for guiding an amazing period of solar system exploration by robotic spacecraft and generating public enthusiasm for space science during his 45-year career.


U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gregory Swarz, for saving the lives of three French airmen he pulled out of a fire that erupted when a Greek F-16 crashed at Los Llanos Air Base, Spain, during a multinational exercise in January 2015. Five other Air Force airmen also ran into the fire after the crash, which claimed the lives of two Greek pilots and nine French airmen. Swarz received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honor, and all six airmen were presented the Spanish Cross of Aeronautical Merit for their heroism.

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