Our Vision: To be the nationally recognized voice for the public interest, states and territories on aviation and the national aviation system.

Most Innovative State Program Award

In 1984, the National Association of State Aviation Officials established the NASAO Most Innovative State Program Award to recognize truly unique and service-oriented state aviation programs, projects, and activities. NASAO has a long tradition of calling the aviation community’s attention to individual states aviation programs. Many innovative aviation programs that began at the state level have spread to other states or in some cases have been adopted or accepted by the federal government and the aviation community. The recipient will receive the award at the NASAO Annual Convention & Trade Show.

2017 Most Innovative State Program Award


The NASAO Most Innovative State Program Award is open to any state aviation agency that has developed, or has contracted for the development of, an original aviation program, project, or activity.

The program should contribute to the quality of service in the aviation community and/or the general public. The program should be currently underway or recently completed and have reportable results.


Nominations must be typed, submitted electronically and and include:

  • An Executive Summary of the entry, not exceeding two pages, stating why the entry is innovative and how it provides a service to aviation.
  • A background and description of the program which states its origin and development, along with goals and objectives.
  • The implementation date along with the details of the implementation. Only programs that have been implemented should be submitted for judging.
  • A description, if possible, of the results of the program.
  • A report on the actual cost of the program, including funding from all sources.
  • Pictures, drawings, samples, correspondence, or any other means that reinforces the innovative nature of the program.


Judges will be asked to rank each entry on  “Innovation” and “Quality of Service to the Aviation Community.” Innovation is defined as creative, new, and/or unusual means of supporting aviation. In addition, their evaluation of each entry will include cost versus return of the program, ease of program implementation, and the extent to which the program addresses an unmet need of the aviation community.


Each state may submit only one entry. All entries must be recieved by Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
Please send the electronic nomination to : Tracy MacDonald
Tracy is also available to answer question at 703-610-1274.








James Stephens, left, accepts the award from NASAO Chairman Gary Cathey.



1984 Minnesota, Aviation Weather Service Program
1985 Arizona, Computer Technology to Serve the Aviation Community
1986 Minnesota, Automated Weather Station
1987 Washington, Airport Visual Aid and Lighting Program
1988 Illinois, Project Air Bear
1989 Illinois, Promotion of Residential Airports
1990 Illinois, Promotion of Local Airport Action Groups
1991 New York, Converting Military Airports to Public Use
1992 Michigan, Military and Civil Collision Avoidance Program
1993 Wisconsin, Differential GPS Precision Landing System
1994 Colorado, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Support Program
1995 Virginia, Airport Remote Radio Access Program
1996 Illinois, Aviation Wannabee Program
1997 Minnesota, Minnesota Internet Site
1998 Washington, GA Facilities: Protection from Incompatible Land Uses
1999 Maine, Video Based Pavement Inspection System
2000 Tennessee, The First Ultra-Thin Whitetopping of a GA Airport Runway
2001 Colorado, Colorado Mountain Pass Automated Weather Observation System Program and South Carolina, Comprehensive Aviation Information Reporting System
2002 Massachusetts, Development of Statewide Airport Identification Badge Program
2003 Washington, Online Pilot Registration Program
2004 Illinois, Hospital Heliport Directory and Heliport Safety Video Project and Iowa, General Aviation Security Initiative
2005 North Dakota, General Aviation Airport Crisis Communications
2006 Minnesota, Aviation Career Curriculum and Education Program
2007 Minnesota, Aviation Safety Program
2008 Wisconsin, Bureau of Aeronautics, Wisconsin 2008-2009 Aeronautical Chart
2009 Colorado Division of Aeronautics Non-Federal Sensor Data Collection System
2010 Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Web-based Airport Infrastructure Management System
2011 Arizona Airport Pavement Management System
2012 Kansas Department of Transportation Division of Aviation, AERIS VIGILIS (Airspace Guardian)
2013 Colorado DOT Division of Aviation, Web-Based Information Management System
2014 South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, Statewide Airport Compatible Land Use Evaluation Tool
2015 Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Statewide Aviation Division, The “Yeti”, compacted snow and ice crusher

2016 South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, Unmanned Aircraft Systems  For Obstacle Evaluation & Aerial Imagery


Send all inquiries about this award to

Whether you are a state aviation official, staff member or a Friend of NASAO, there are opportunities for you to become more involved with NASAO through participation on one of our many Committees. See a complete list of opportunities and let us know where you would like to be involved. More
NASAO is one of the most senior aviation organizations in the United States, predating even the Federal Aviation Administration’s predecessor, the Civil Aeronautics Authority. The states first established NASAO to ensure uniformity of safety measures, to standardize airport regulations and develop a truly national air transportation system responsive to local, state, and regional needs. More
NASAO holds two formal conferences each year – our Annual Convention and Trade Show, typically held in September and a Washington Legislative Conference held in the nation’s Capital during the February/March timeframe. NASAO also has a presence at EAA’s AirVenture, held each year in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in late July. Whether you are looking to attend an interesting, informative and relevant conference or would like to exhibit or sponsor an event, let us know. More
Featured Business Partners