The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) was established during a conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 1-2, 1931. At that time, twenty-five states had created aviation agencies, sixteen of which immediately became charter members of NASAO. They were: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Today, NASAO represents the state government aviation agencies in the states, and Guam and Puerto Rico.
NASAO is one of the most senior aviation organizations in the United States, predating even the Federal Aviation Administration’s predecessor, the Civil Aeronautics Authority. The states first established NASAO to ensure uniformity of safety measures, to standardize airport regulations and develop a truly national air transportation system responsive to local, state, and regional needs. Since 1931, NASAO has been unique among aviation advocates. Unlike special interest groups, which speak for a single type of aeronautical activity or a narrow band of the rich spectrum of the American aviation community, NASAO represents the men and women, in state government aviation agencies, who serve the public interest. These highly skilled professionals are full partners with the federal government in the development and maintenance of the safest and most efficient aviation system in the world.
In 1986, the non-profit NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education was created to “enhance the public good through an increasingly safe air transportation system”. It is also a major participant in the International Aviation Art Contest for children and other aviation education efforts.