Special Olympics Airlift wins Ueltschi award
NBAA this year is introducing the Albert Ueltschi Award, created to honor individuals and groups in business aviation who support humanitarian causes. The inaugural award is being presented to the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift at today’s Awards Luncheon in recognition of the mission’s “humanitarian leadership” in business aviation.
“We created this award to bring recognition to the often unsung efforts of the business aviation community to pitch in whenever there is an opportunity,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
The Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift, created by Cessna in 1987, this year involved 235 Citations that transported 1,500 athletes and their coaches to the Special Olympics in Ames, Iowa, held in early July.
“Al is an aviation legend, and a significant part of his legacy is his commitment to using aviation to improve the lives of others,” Bolen said. “We think this award is a fitting tribute to someone who has truly made a difference.”
Ueltschi was the winner of the NBAA American Spirit Award in 2001. He is best known as the founder of FlightSafety International, which he started as a part-time business in 1951 and sold to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 1996 for $1.5 billion.
Ueltschi is now widely recognized for his dedication to philanthropic causes such as his involvement in the development of Orbis International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that strives to eliminate avoidable blindness. Ueltschi has served as the chairman for Orbis for more than 20 years, contributing financially and helping to develop initiatives for the foundation.