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Mon, Sep 18, 2023

Outgoing NAA Boss Principato Imparts Farewell Message

Frequency Change Approved …

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced on 09 June 2023 that Greg Principato, the organization’s president and CEO, intended to step down from the positions he so sagely and competently filled since 2016.

Comes now 15 September, and a final, eminently distinguished executive communique from Mr. Principato:

"Dear Members and Supporters,

"For the past seven years it has been my honor to serve as President & CEO of the National Aeronautic Association. We are the oldest national aviation organization in the United States. Our founders include many of the same innovators who solved the challenges of heavier than air flight in the first place. When I tell people that Orville Wright once chaired our Contest and Records Board their eyes light up in amazement and wonder.

"I believe the NAA is a national treasure. There is a reason that leaders at the top of our government have recognized the achievements and people we celebrate. When we were founded, aviation had a limited past and a limited present. All it really had was a future. We were founded to provide a means to launch into the future, whatever it might hold.  One hundred and eighteen years later, we can say that the future our founders imagined has come true. And then some!

"The leadership of the NAA comes with responsibility to uphold that tradition; to recognize greatness AND to build toward the future. It has been my privilege, a privilege you as NAA members have given me, to uphold and build on that tradition. I will always be grateful, and I hope we have made you proud.

"The future is even brighter as it always is for our nation. NAA will have a dynamic new leader with an amazing record of accomplishment and wide respect throughout the industry. She is held in high regard by our nation’s best and brightest aviation leaders, and by so many of the leaders of tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what Amy Spowart’s leadership will do to propel NAA into the future.

"I won’t be far away and will always be available to help NAA in any way I can. For now, thank you so much for the honor of leading this amazing and indispensable organization.

"My parting request is that you consider a donation to the very worthy cause of the NAA. As I said, it is a national treasure with a mission endures only through the support of our members and individual donations."

With gratitude,
Greg Principato
President & CEO
National Aeronautic Association  

A survivor of over four-decades in Washington D.C. Mr. Principato began his career on Capitol Hill. His introduction to aviation came in 1986 when his mentor, Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles, recognized the young Principato’s executive abilities and assigned him important roles in the legislative effort by which the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was established. Governor Baliles also involved Principato in foundational work salient to the opening of the famed Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

In 1993, a Clinton administration appointment saw Principato named executive director of the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry. Thirty-years later, the Commission’s report Change, Challenge, and Competition is referred to, still. The Commission laid the groundwork for the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act—a 1994 amendment to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 intended to mitigate the dire ramifications of prolonged product liability on general aviation aircraft manufacturers. The act also helped settle debates over the deregulation of airline routes and fares, and the pursuit of open skies international air service agreements.

A passionate advocate of aviation and the aviation industry, Principato came to the NAA from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), prior to which he served as president and CEO of Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA)—the trade association for U.S. and Canadian airports. Under Principato’s leadership, the ACI-NA aligned the aims of U.S. and Canadian Airports and better focused the organization’s long-term strategic aims.

The National Aeronautic Association of the United States (NAA) is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. A founding member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the NAA is the oldest national aviation club in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. In addition to serving as steward of some of the world’s most storied and prestigious aviation awards, the NAA certifies all national aviation records set in the United States.

FMI: www.naa.aero


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