AAAE Announces Creation of Two New Women in Aviation Scholarships

The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has announced that it is doubling the number of awards given under the Women in Aviation Scholarship program in 2019 with the creation of two new permanently-endowed scholarships in honor of Gina Adams, Corporate Vice President of Government Affairs at FedEx, and Trish Gilbert, Executive Vice President at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

These new scholarships – each of which will provide a $5,000 annual award to a qualifying female student in an accredited aviation program – come in addition to the existing Women in Aviation Scholarship and the Linda Hall Daschle Women in Aviation Scholarship awarded by the AAAE Foundation. Since 1989, the AAAE Foundation has provided nearly $5 million in scholarships to more than 2,900 students, making the organization one of the largest supporters of higher education assistance in the entire aviation industry.

“AAAE is extremely proud to expand our role in helping dedicated women meet their educational and career goals,” said AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli. “Trish and Gina have made immeasurable contributions to the aviation industry, and I’m excited to see these endowed scholarships made possible through the generous support of AAAE and our many industry partners help the next generation of women leaders build on their legacies.”

“I am proud and honored to work alongside Trish and I have seen first-hand, every day, her relentless dedication to aviation safety and improving the professions of the aviation safety professionals who make our National Airspace System the world’s safest,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, who has served as a leadership team with Gilbert since 2009. “She is so richly deserving of this tremendous honor. It is wonderful to see this expanded scholarship program honor her by providing increased opportunities for dedicated women to rise, succeed, and lead in the world of aviation. Trish inspires me, her fellow NATCA sisters and brothers, and all who have worked with her across government, the aviation community, and Congress.”

Adams said, “I am confident that this scholarship program will help develop a pipeline of well-qualified and ambitious women who will innovate and lead across the aviation industry for generations to come.”

Additional information about Gilbert and Adams can be found on the Women in Aviation Scholarship webpage. Information about NATCA and FedEx is available on their websites.

The AAAE Foundation awarded the inaugural Women in Aviation Scholarship in 2016 and added the Linda Hall Daschle Women in Aviation Scholarship the following year. Each Women in Aviation Scholarship is given to a female college or university undergraduate student with a junior class standing or above or graduate student who is enrolled in an aviation program and has a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Eligibility is unrelated to membership in AAAE.

A full list of AAAE Foundation scholarships and eligibility requirements is available online. For further information about Women in Aviation Scholarships or for inquiries regarding corporate or individual contributions to the program, please visit or contact Gwen Basaria, Vice President, Member Experience and AAAE Foundation, at (703) 797-2540.