NBAA Honors Aviation Safety Advocate Robert Sumwalt with Silk Scarf Award at NBAA-BACE

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 13, 2021 – In recognition of his lifelong commitment to aviation safety, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today honored Robert Sumwalt, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), with the association’s Silk Scarf Award at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV.

Sumwalt served as a board member at the NTSB from 2006 – 2021 and was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017 to serve as the 14th chairman of the NTSB. Before joining the board, Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years and has accumulated more than 14,000 flight hours, including more than two decades flying for commercial airlines, as well as business aviation.

“Throughout his extensive career, Robert has been a fierce advocate for improving safety across all modes of transportation,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Business aviation has benefitted tremendously from his work, and I am honored to bestow NBAA’s Silk Scarf Award to Robert in appreciation of his contributions to our industry and to aviation safety worldwide.”

Sumwalt, a former member of the NBAA Safety Committee, has written extensively on aviation safety matters, publishing more than 100 articles on transportation safety and aircraft accident investigation and co-authoring the book Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. He also served as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) for eight years.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Aeronautical Science (with distinction) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), with concentrations in aviation/aerospace safety systems and human factors aviation systems.

Sumwalt also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina, and an honorary doctorate from ERAU. He is the recipient of the Flight Safety Foundation Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award and the Flight Safety Foundation – Boeing Lifetime Achievement Award and is an inductee into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.

About the Silk Scarf 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 Silk Scarf Award winners.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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