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Most Innovative State Program Award

In 1984, the National Association of State Aviation Officials established the NASAO Most Innovative State Program Award to recognize truly unique and service-oriented state aviation programs, projects, and activities. NASAO has a long tradition of calling the aviation community’s attention to individual states aviation programs. 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 aviation community. The recipient will receive the award at the NASAO Annual Convention & Trade Show.


The NASAO Most Innovative State Program Award is open to any state aviation agency that has developed, or has contracted for the development of, an original aviation program, project, or activity.

The program should contribute to the quality of service in the aviation community and/or the general public. The program should be currently underway or recently completed and have reportable results.


Nominations must be typed, submitted electronically and and include:

  • An Executive Summary of the entry, not exceeding two pages, stating why the entry is innovative and how it provides a service to aviation.
  • A background and description of the program which states its origin and development, along with goals and objectives.
  • The implementation date along with the details of the implementation. Only programs that have been implemented should be submitted for judging.
  • A description, if possible, of the results of the program.
  • A report on the actual cost of the program, including funding from all sources.
  • Pictures, drawings, samples, correspondence, or any other means that reinforces the innovative nature of the program.


The NASAO Executive Board will serve as judges. Judges will be asked to rank each entry on “Innovation” and “Quality of Service to the Aviation Community.” Innovation is defined as creative, new, and/or unusual means of supporting aviation. In addition, their evaluation of each entry will include cost versus return of the program, ease of program implementation, and the extent to which the program addresses an unmet need of the aviation community.


  • 2020 Michigan Office of Aeronautics, Department of Transportation; PFAS Grant Programs
  • 2019 North Carolina Division of Aviation, Department of Transportation; NCDOT UAS Program Office 
  • 2018 Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Statewide Aviation Division, Airport Lighting Systems "The Monster Below"
  • 2017 Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Statewide Aviation Division, Aircraft Familiarization Video for ARFF Personnel
  • 2016 South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, Unmanned Aircraft Systems For Obstacle Evaluation & Aerial Imagery
  • 2015 Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Statewide Aviation Division, The “Yeti”, compacted snow and ice crusher
  • 2014 South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, Statewide Airport Compatible Land Use Evaluation Tool
  • 2013 Colorado DOT Division of Aviation, Web-Based Information Management System
  • 2012 Kansas Department of Transportation Division of Aviation, AERIS VIGILIS (Airspace Guardian)
  • 2011 Arizona Airport Pavement Management System
  • 2010 Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Web-based Airport Infrastructure Management System
  • 2009 Colorado Division of Aeronautics Non-Federal Sensor Data Collection System
  • 2008 Wisconsin, Bureau of Aeronautics, Wisconsin 2008-2009 Aeronautical Chart
  • 2007 Minnesota, Aviation Safety Program
  • 2006 Minnesota, Aviation Career Curriculum and Education Program
  • 2005 North Dakota, General Aviation Airport Crisis Communications
  • 2004 Illinois, Hospital Heliport Directory and Heliport Safety Video Project and Iowa, General Aviation Security Initiative
  • 2003 Washington, Online Pilot Registration Program
  • 2002 Massachusetts, Development of Statewide Airport Identification Badge Program
  • 2001 Colorado, Colorado Mountain Pass Automated Weather Observation System Program and South Carolina, Comprehensive Aviation Information Reporting System
  • 2000 Tennessee, The First Ultra-Thin Whitetopping of a GA Airport Runway
  • 1999 Maine, Video Based Pavement Inspection System
  • 1998 Washington, GA Facilities: Protection from Incompatible Land Uses
  • 1997 Minnesota, Minnesota Internet Site
  • 1996 Illinois, Aviation Wannabee Program
  • 1995 Virginia, Airport Remote Radio Access Program
  • 1994 Colorado, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Support Program
  • 1993 Wisconsin, Differential GPS Precision Landing System
  • 1992 Michigan, Military and Civil Collision Avoidance Program
  • 1991 New York, Converting Military Airports to Public Use
  • 1990 Illinois, Promotion of Local Airport Action Groups
  • 1989 Illinois, Promotion of Residential Airports
  • 1988 Illinois, Project Air Bear
  • 1987 Washington, Airport Visual Aid and Lighting Program
  • 1986 Minnesota, Automated Weather Station
  • 1985 Arizona, Computer Technology to Serve the Aviation Community
  • 1984 Minnesota, Aviation Weather Service Program


Each state may submit only one entry. All entries must be received by Monday, July 20, 2020.


Please send the electronic nomination to:


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