Feb. 14, 2014

NBAA recently presented its Silk Scarf Award to Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association (VNAA) and a champion for business aviation in Southern California.

“We wanted to recognize Curt for his outstanding leadership and service to business aviation,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative, who presented the award at the Feb. 4 meeting of the VNAA. “His high energy, proactive commitment to the airport and to general aviation are truly deserving of this honor.”

Castagna, a 35-year aviation industry veteran, is president and chief executive officer of the Aerolease/Aeroplex Group, which has operations at both Van Nuys (VNY) and Long Beach (LGB) airports. He has a long history of educating the community about the importance of airports, and as president of VNAA he has worked tirelessly in support of its mission to protect aviation jobs and businesses.

“Curt spearheaded a cooperative effort between VNAA, airport management and its contractors to dramatically reduce the closure time during reconstruction of a runway at Van Nuys,” said Howard. “Through his efforts, full closure was cut from original estimates of 120 days to only 10 days, minimizing operational impacts.”

As head of VNAA, Castagna also successfully led a campaign to save VNY’s aircraft mechanics school from closure in the face of severe budget challenges. His efforts have ensured that this school continues to prepare hundreds of young people for highly skilled, high-paying aviation jobs each year.

Castagna is an aircraft owner and pilot who also volunteers his time to mentor local youth. He is an adjunct professor at California State University, Los Angeles in the aviation management program.

About the Award

In an effort to honor outstanding business aviation community members and inspire future aviators, the NBAA Silk Scarf Award is given to individuals for special contributions to the business aviation community during their careers. Learn more and view past award recipients at the Silk Scarf Award web page.