The Aero Club of Washington is honoring Randolph "Randy" Babbitt, the former FAA administrator, with the Donald Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence Award. To be presented during the Aero Club’s November 14 luncheon, the award recognizes individuals for lifetime achievements in the aviation field, the development of aviation policy that enhances the industry and any other actions by an individual that embody the Wright brothers’ “excellence in innovation, tenacity, insight, creativity and an essential fascination with flight.”
“No matter which hat Randy has worn during his impressive career, he has always been a leader who focuses on moving flight safety and modernization forward, while staying positive and fostering an atmosphere of collaboration and a spirit of goodwill within in our industry,” said Clay McConnell, Aero Club of Washington president. “Captain Babbitt’s multiple and sustained contributions to the aviation industry exemplify the criteria established for the Engen Trophy.”
Babbitt joined Southwest in 2012 after stepping down as the FAA’s 16th administrator in December 2011. Before that he had been a founding partner of Eclat Consulting, which later merged with the international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. He also led the Air Line Pilots Association and earlier in his career, he spent 25 years flying with Eastern Airlines. Following his stint at the FAA, Babbitt was the senior v-p of labor relations for Southwest Airlines until he retired last year.
Babbitt has long been familiar with aviation policy, not only in his capacities as a consultant and at ALPA, but also as a member and then chairman of FAA’s Management Advisory Council. He further was appointed to the special internal review team assigned to assess safety oversight within the airline industry and the FAA.
Michael Huerta, whose term as the current FAA administrator expires in early January, is scheduled to address the November 14 luncheon.