Greg Principato to Retire from the National Aeronautic Association

Following a long career of public service, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced that President and CEO, Greg Principato, will retire from the association effective on September 15, 2023. Principato has served the NAA since 2016.

Greg Principato

“On behalf of the Board of Directors I want to thank Greg for all he has done for the NAA,” said Board Chair Jim Albaugh. “Greg not only successfully built a strong foundation for the NAA’s next chapter, he also provided impressive strategic leadership during COVID. We are grateful for the expertise and knowledge he provided over the last 7 years.”

With more than 40 years’ experience in Washington, DC, Principato began his career on Capitol Hill.  His introduction to aviation came in 1986 when his mentor, Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles recognized his executive abilities and assigned Principato important roles in Baliles’s historic transportation program, in the legislative effort that established the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and in early work that led to the opening of the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

Principato built on that experience in 1993 with an appointment during the Clinton Administration to serve as Executive Director of the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry, which completed its work early and under budget. The Commission’s report “Change, Challenge and Competition” is still referred to 30 years later. The Commission laid the essential groundwork for the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act and helped settle debates over the deregulation of airline routes and fares and the pursuit of open skies international air service agreements.

A passionate aviation advocate, Principato came to the NAA from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), for which he developed and implemented a new strategic vision and made the organization more inclusive of members and staff. Prior to that, he served as the President and CEO of Airport Council International- North America (ACI-NA), the trade association for airports. Under his leadership at ACI-NA, Principato not only united U.S. and Canadian Airports more fully into one organization, he also played a leading role in the successful effort to strengthen and reform the global airport organization which enabled the international group to better focus on strategic issues.

“The NAA has been an essential part of America’s aviation history since its founding in 1905,” Principato said. “Leading NAA was a dream come true for me personally, and a wonderful opportunity to add to NAA’s unique and historic legacy. I will be forever grateful to the Board and membership and can’t wait to see what is next for the entire association and the aviation industry.”

Albaugh said, “Greg leaves a remarkable legacy. He will be remembered at NAA as a person who expanded the reach of the organization and drew in all of the varied elements of aerospace.”