Bizav Mourns Loss of Former NBAA Chief Winant

 - January 15, 2009, 10:53 AM

John Winant, 85, president of NBAA from 1971 to 1986 and a “critical player in the evolution of business aviation,” died Tuesday at his home in Williamstown, Mass. “It would be difficult to overstate the importance of John Winant in the development of business aviation in the U.S. and around the world,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “John was respected and trusted by aviation professionals, company executives, Cabinet secretaries and elected officials. His integrity, knowledge, dedication and gentle nature made him an extraordinarily effective advocate for our community.” Winant was first elected to NBAA’s board of directors in 1957 when he was vice president of Sprague Electric. While still a director, he was appointed NBAA’s first full-time staff president in 1971. Under Winant’s direction, NBAA grew from 824 member companies to almost 3,000 and the association’s annual meeting and convention became one of the biggest aviation events in the world. In 1981 he was instrumental in bringing together other business aviation associations from around the world to form the International Business Aviation Council. He received numerous aviation awards during his lifetime. Winant is survived by his wife, Kathryn, two children and five grandchildren.