Ron Swanda, who was the first representative of the U.S. aviation industry to participate in the European Joint Aviation Authorities’ deliberations on operational rules and regulations, has retired as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s senior vice president of operations after 25 years with the organization. He was also a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s 12th Air Navigation Conference on implementation of GPS.
Following enactment of the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994, Swanda was the staff lead and primary author of GAMA’s Piston-Engine Aircraft Revitalization Plan. He also served on NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System Advisory Committee for more than 10 years and was a member of the executive council for the Advanced General Aviation Transportation Experiment.
Before he joined GAMA, he served in the Air Force as a C-130 aircraft commander, instructor pilot and chief of squadron standards and evaluation selection. He learned to fly in general aviation aircraft in 1967 and subsequently became a commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument privileges.
Swanda holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska and an MBA in aviation, with honors, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He joined GAMA in 1982.
“It’s difficult to overstate Ron’s contribution to GAMA and to general aviation over the last twenty-five years,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Ron has helped resolve numerous operational, airport, safety and advanced-technology issues, and the relationships he has developed over the years with the government and industry are invaluable.”