An old Washington aviation organization lost, several months ago, a great leader, Henry Ogrodzinski. On November 5, a new leader was named to try to fill the position of president and CEO and the choice was a wise one.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) is an 83 year old organization which brings a unique perspective to the aviation policy debate. Other groups represent airports (executives and major facilities), GA owners & pilots and a host of other perspectives.
NASAO advocates in Washington on behalf of the state governments which protect and promote the aviation within the Member States. Their interests extend from performing basic safety inspections on behalf of the FAA, to developing capital investment plans within their jurisdictions, to receiving FAA block grants for distribution among its airports, to including state tax dollars in their distributions, to organizing state aviation interests from all sectors, to promoting aviation as a business within their economic development interests and to owning and operating their own airports.
That is a complex set of interests to represent in Washington and it takes considerable ability and experience to find legislators and Administration executives who will listen to and implement the NASAO agenda. Greg Principato has good experience for all of the skills required to effectively move the states’ aviation policy goals into action.
Six years on the Hill resulted in a sound understanding of the “who’s” and the “what’s” of the legislative process. Greg spent four years working for a Governor as a link between Richmond and Washington; so he understands how state interests are received at the US Capitol. Finally, he devoted ten years as an executive of trade associations, managing staffs, setting a budget, collecting dues and delivering visible evidence of the group’s work.
Aviation interests benefitted for years from Henry O’s unique skills; Greg is a worthy successor to that standard.