NASAO presents the following awards to recognize important achievements in the aviation community:
This is the highest honor that NASAO can confer to recognize and reward individuals or groups, outside the association, who have contributed to the mission of NASAO by demonstrating outstanding leadership and initiative and whose contributions have significantly enhanced the field of aviation.
In 1994, the Board of Directors established the Kenneth A. Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award. This award is presented in the name of Kenneth A. Rowe to honor State Aviation directors who embody his spirit, optimism, and fierce pride in the capabilities of the state aviation agencies.
NASAO established the Most Innovative State Program Award to recognize truly unique and service-oriented state aviation programs, projects, and activities. Many innovative aviation programs that began at the state level have spread to other states or in some cases have been adopted or accepted by the federal government and the entire aviation community.
The NASAO Board of Directors established the State Aviation Distinguished Service Award to honor state aviation personnel (other than the director) who have excelled in their service and dedication to aviation progress and development in their state. Recognizing that the vitality and effectiveness of a state aviation agency directly reflects the quality of agency personnel, NASAO is resolved to identify and honor staff members who have performed in an exemplary manner and whose contributions will serve as an inspiration to other state aviation agency personnel.
The NASAO National Journalism Award is designed to recognize superior news coverage of aviation issues by both the mass media and the aviation trade press. The first NASAO National Journalism Award was presented on September 9, 1997 at NASAO’s 66th Annual Meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. An impeccably high standard was set by granting the inaugural award to Gordon Baxter, longtime columnist for Flying magazine.
The NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education established the non-competitive NASAO AIR Award in 2012 to recognize state aviation programs for best practice and innovation. Nominations are judged based on their own merits according to the criteria outlined in the application, rather than judged against one another. The nominated program should be a best practice or contribute to the quality of service in the aviation community and/or the general public.
The NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education established an annual Aviation Education Program Award in 1993 to recognize the efforts of the state aviation agencies educating and motivating the public with aviation-related education programs. The NASAO Center, recognizing that aviation education has assumed a vital role in our contemporary society, has resolved to identify and honor exemplary state programs that have contributed to the advancement of learning. The states should be recognized for their support and assistance in the development of a national effort to make aviation education resources available to students of all ages as well as the community-at-large.