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Washington, DC, May 11, 2018 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauds Board member William S. “Bill” Ayer, who will be recognized for his volunteer contributions in aviation, with Angel Flight West’s Endeavor Award on May 12, at the organization’s fifth annual Endeavor Award ceremony at the California Science Center.
A chairman emeritus of Alaska Airlines, and member of NBAA’s Board of Directors, Ayer has been a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight West (AFW) since 1993, having flown more than 50 missions in support of humanitarian endeavors. A volunteer pilot organization, AFW arranges some 4,000 flights a year, which provide expedient transportation to medical care for those in need; transports veterans and rescue animals; maps environmental data; aids disaster relief; and contributes to the public good in 13 Western states.
“The business aviation community joins in congratulating Bill Ayer for his many contributions to the industry, including his tireless work in support of Angel Flight West,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “He is an outstanding example of the philanthropic spirit that is a hallmark of our industry.”
In addition to flying humanitarian missions, Ayer served on AFW’s board of directors from 2000 to 2010.
Ayer retired from Alaska Airlines as its chair and chief executive officer in 2013. He started flying at age 15, went on to earn commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates with instrument and multiengine ratings, and has logged more than 4,500 flight hours. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington.
After starting his aviation career at Piper Aircraft, Ayer founded Air Olympia, a regional airline that served Washington state. He then joined Horizon Air and, in 1995, Alaska Airlines. Along the way, he served on the boards of the University of Washington, the Museum of Flight, and the AOPA Foundation. He is the immediate past chair of the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee, is currently a member of the FAA’s Management Advisory Council and serves on Honeywell’s board of directors.