Washington, DC, September 30, 2009 – Members of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) elected Victor N. Bird (shown at right) of Oklahoma as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2010 at their annual convention and tradeshow in Tucson, Arizona earlier this month. Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, is well known in his home state for frequently addressing aviation issues in wide and diverse venues . . . an effort he refers to as “airvangelism”.
A member of NASAO since 2002, Bird previously served as NASAO’s vice chairman, treasurer, and secretary of the board.
“Aviation, the world’s first internet, is facing some of the most serious challenges in its history. Making sure that the U.S. Air Transportation System continues to effectively serve communities – metropolitan and micropolitan – across our country and replacing an aging workforce are two of the more daunting challenges we face,” said Bird. “I am confident that this group of officers will continue NASAO’s proud tradition of leading the way to make sure the public’s interest is served in resolving these challenges. I am honored to serve NASAO and its member states with my fellow colleagues.”
Randall P. Burdette, director of the Virginia Department of Aviation, was elected Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. Burdette was a senior Army aviator and has flown general aviation aircraft from more than 34 years. His vision and passion for Virginia aviation to become the standard of excellence amongst state aviation agencies is legendary. Burdette has been a member of NASAO since 2004 and previously served as NASAO’s treasurer and secretary of the board as well as current co-chair of the NASAO Security Committee.
The members elected Joe Pestka, A.I.C.P., Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Administrator of Aviation for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Pestka manages federal airport funds in one of the nation’s ten block grant sates – ensuring Missouri communities access to the national air transportation system. A member of NASAO since 2003, Pestka previously served as NASAO’s secretary of the board and currently is the chairman of the NASAO State Block Grant Task Group.
Debbie Alke, Administrator, Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, was elected Secretary of the Board of Directors. Alke has worked in the department since 1989 and became director in 2001. She currently serves as chairwoman of the NASAO Air Service Committee and has assisted NASAO with participation in the Airport Cooperative Research Program.
As immediate past chairman, Travis Vallin director, Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics continues to serve on the NASAO Executive Committee. Vallin was instrumental in working with the Federal Aviation Administration to make it possible for installation of new wide-area multilateration technology – making remote Colorado airports safer. A member of NASAO since 1998, Vallin has held all of the offices of the board.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials is one of the most senior aviation organizations in the United States, predating even the Federal Aviation Administration’s predecessor, the Civil Aeronautics Authority. Since its founding in 1931 the association has represented the men and women, in state government aviation agencies, who serve the public interest in the states, Guam and Puerto Rico. These highly skilled professionals are full partners with the federal government in the development and maintenance of the safest and most efficient aviation system in the world. They organize, promote, and fund a wide variety of aviation programs across the nation.