Awards Program

Each year since 2003 the Public Benefit Flying Awards have been presented in a ceremony in the United States Capitol Building.

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) traces its roots to the Aero Club of America, founded in 1905. Since its beginning, NAA's primary mission has been the advancement of the art, sport, and science of aviation in the United States, including space flight. Through its annual national awards program, NAA "celebrates the past," while at the same time recognizing the achievements of those who are developing technology and "inventing the future."

The NAA is famous for a number of nationally prominent awards that have been given since early in the history of flight, such as the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the Frank G. Brewer award for aviation education, and the Elder Statesmen of Aviation awards.

NAA's first awards for Public Benefit Flying were presented on September 10, 2003, celebrating the service and accomplishments of the many volunteers in aviation who "fly to help others," performing missions of community and individual service. These awards were developed by NAA in association with the Air Care Alliance. More than thirty nominations were received in 2003 and a similar number in 2004.

The awards have been divided into five categories:

  • Distinguished Volunteer Pilot
  • Distinguished Volunteer
  • Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying
  • Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award
  • Champion of Public Benefit Flying

The annual awards were presented in ceremonial rooms on the Senate side of the Nation's Capitol Building, with additional awards presented at other venues.