Wilson Air Center founder, business aviation advocate, and philanthropist Robert A. Wilson is this year’s recipient of NBAA’s 2019 John P. “Jack” Doswell Award. To be presented during NBAA’s convention from October 22 to 24 in Las Vegas, the award recognizes “lifelong individual achievement on behalf of and in support of the aims, goals, and objectives of business aviation.”
A retired lieutenant colonel with the Tennessee Air National Guard, Wilson founded the fixed-base operation and aviation services chain in 1996 in Memphis, Tennessee. Since then, Wilson Air Center has added locations in Charlotte, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Houston, Texas.
He has been active within the business aviation community, serving on NBAA’s Security Council, as well as on the boards of the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association and Citation Jet Pilots Association. He additionally is executive v-p of Kemmons Wilson, serves on the executive board of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and is on the board of directors of Holiday Inn Club Vacations.
Wilson further has become involved in numerous charitable organizations, donating time and airplane use for flights with Make-A-Wish Mid-South Foundation and the Veterans Airlift Command. Through his Robert A. and Susan C. Wilson Foundation, Wilson funded the original and renovation of the Wilson Timeless Voices of Aviation Theater at the Experimental Aviation Association Education Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Wilson has been inducted into both the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
“NBAA is proud to recognize Bob Wilson, whose outstanding contributions to the business aviation community reflect Jack Doswell’s legacy of lifelong commitment to the industry,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “He has also demonstrated a tireless commitment to promoting safety and security throughout our industry, as well as devotion to giving back, through his involvement in a number of philanthropic initiatives.”