NBAA Convention News

George A. Saling honored for focus on aviation safety

 - September 30, 2008, 10:10 AM

George A. Saling, vice president of aviation and travel services for Altria, will receive NBAA’s John P. “Jack” Doswell award for 2008 in honor of his commitment to excellence and safety in business aviation, both in his professional career and in several volunteer roles for NBAA. Named for business aviation icon Jack Doswell, the award recognizes people for lifelong individual achievement on behalf and in support of the aims, goals and objectives of business aviation.

At Altria, Saling implemented corporate flight operational quality assurance (C-FOQA) programs and developed safety management systems that have become a best-practice standard for NBAA. In addition, Altria was one of the first corporate flight departments to achieve ISO 9002 certification, then IS-BAO level III certification.

Saling was also instrumental in establishing the NBAA Maintenance Committee and the Forum for Enhanced Reliability and Maintainability Standards (FERMS), a Web-based tool that provides real-time information about business aircraft performance and maintenance. He formed the committee and the FERMS resource to help disseminate safety information about business aircraft.

In 1994, Saling joined NBAA’s board of directors after serving on the NBAA Corporate Aviation Management Committee. He was chairman of the board from 2001 to 2004.

After graduating from Ohio University in 1968, where he took flight training as a member of the Army ROTC, Saling began active duty in the U.S. Army, and during 1970 and 1971 he flew O-1 Birddogs as a combat flight platoon leader in Vietnam.

Later, after his discharge from the Army, Saling held management positions at GTE Service Corp. and Tenneco. He subsequently joined FlightSafety International, where he was the manager of the FSI Falcon Learning Center at Teterboro Airport. He also worked in retail marketing, human resources and aviation management.

In 1991, Saling went to work for Philip Morris Management Corp. as director of aviation services. Ten years later he was promoted to vice president of aviation and travel services for Philip Morris, later renamed Altria. His responsibilities include providing worldwide aviation and commercial travel support for all of Altria’s operating divisions.

He is rated in the Gulfstream IV, Bombardier Challenger 600/601, Lockheed JetStar II, Dassault Falcon 20, Dornier Do-328 and Douglas DC-3.  

“The commitment George has demonstrated to excellence in safety and other aspects of business aviation sets an example for everyone in the industry,” NBAA president Ed Bolen said in announcing the award. “In the workplace, and in a host of voluntary capacities, George has dedicated countless hours to the betterment of business aviation, and NBAA is pleased to give special acknowledgment for his contributions with this award.”

Saling will receive his honors at the NBAA awards luncheon today.    

Doswell Award History

NBAA established the Doswell Award in 1988 to honor the memory of John P. (Jack) Doswell. It is presented each year to an individual “for lifelong achievement on behalf of and in support of the aims, goals and objectives of business aviation.”

Jack Doswell flew B-24s in World War II, C-54s in the Berlin Airlift and was a member of the Special Missions Air Squadron before retiring from the Air Force in 1950 and becoming director of flight operations for FlightSafety International. He founded the American Standard flight department in 1969. He was struck with a paralytic affliction four years later. Eventually, he recovered use of his limbs, regained his FAA medical and flew general aviation aircraft until his death in 1987.