The ATCA Annual Safety Award: Formerly the George W. Kriske Award

George Kriske was born in 1911 in Rochester, N.Y. He served in the US Army from 1930-1937 and joined the Bureau of Air Commerce as a Junior Radio Operator assigned to the Airway Communications Station in Ardmore, Okla., and subsequently worked as a relief radio operator throughout the southwestern United States. In 1939 he became interested in air traffic control, which was still in its infancy, and went to work in the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center.

During World War II he served as Chief Controller at Fort Worth Center and in the Oklahoma and Tulsa Control Towers as a controller and instructor. He then put in a two-year tour of duty as the Civil Aeronautics Administration Liaison Officer to Headquarters Strategic Air Command USAF in Omaha, Neb., where he was assigned to the Staff of General Curt LeMay. While in this post he was assigned to the United Kingdom and Western Europe to survey the air ground and air traffic capabilities of the various countries operating North Atlantic Air Traffic Control systems to determine if they could satisfactorily handle the world-wide deployment of Strategic Air Command Aircraft.

In 1965 he moved to FAA Headquarters and was chief of the air traffic service evaluation staff until his retirement in 1967 with over 37 years of government service. He then served with distinction as president of the Air Traffic Control Association, giving up the post in 1971 due to poor health. He earned his pilots wings in 1942 and held single and multi-engine and instrument ratings with over 2,500 hours of flight time. He also held a commercial pilot certificate.

George Kriske was a humble, kind man of great stature who devoted his life to the ATC profession. He had an outstanding career which added to the quality, safety and efficiency of air traffic control and in recognition of this ATCA established the George W. Kriske Memorial Award upon his death in 1974.
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  • 06 Jun 2018
    Hon. Linda Hall Daschle Named 2018 Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award Winner

    The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is pleased to announce that former FAA Acting Administrator Linda Hall Daschle has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, one of the most prominent awards in aviation and ATCA’s highest honor.

    A pioneer for women in air traffic management, Daschle was the first female to hold the post of Acting Administrator for the FAA. She began her aviation career in Kansas nearly 45 years ago as a licensed weather observer for the agency. In 1993, she was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate for the position of FAA Deputy Administrator. One of her first tasks involved an assessment of the agency’s key air traffic modernization program called the Advanced Automation System which was eventually overhauled, saving the agency an estimated $1.6 billion. She also oversaw the advancement of new regional airline safety regulations and conducted a review of the agency’s safety and surveillance program, which resulted in one of the single largest hires of new safety inspectors in FAA history. 

    Ms. Daschle has held numerous government and private-sector leadership positions, including with the American Association of Airport Executives, the Air Transport Association, the former Civil Aeronautics Board, and with the law firm of Baker Donelson. She is currently President of LHD & Associates, Inc, and serves on the board of Aireon, LLC.

    In accepting the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, Ms. Daschle joins aviation greats, including Delta’s Richard Anderson, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, the Hon. Jane Garvey, Boeing’s Neil Planzer, former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, and pilot A. Scott Crossfield. (View press release HERE.)

    Tickets will be available this month. For more information, visit

    Established in Washington, D.C., in 1956 by a group of air traffic controllers, the Air Traffic Control Association has been from the outset dedicated to progress in the science of air traffic control and the preservation of a safe flight environment.
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