The Air League celebrates excellence in aviation, aerospace, and space


Leading figures and organisations in the aviation and aerospace sector – including ministerial level MPs, Peers and senior executives – joined together to recognise outstanding contributions to the field at an award ceremony organised and presented by the Air League.

The Air League’s Annual Reception 2023, which took place in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday 14 June), was hosted by Steve Baker MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland and member of The Air League Council. The Aviation Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton provided the keynote speech where she commended the achievements of the award winners and the important work of the Air League

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, a retired Royal Navy officer who was equerry to the late Queen and supporter of the charity, awarded the Billy Deacon Search and Rescue Award to Duncan Tripp, a Search and Rescue Winch Paramedic in Inverness. Duncan was commended for his repeated selfless acts when he rescued 24 people from Ben Nevis and 2 trapped climbers in Red Burn Gulley on 8th March 2022.

Other winners of the awards, presented by The Air League’s President Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper, include Boeing for the continued support aiding more disadvantaged people to enter the aviation sector including young people and over 120 veterans. Malcolm Sutherland, the Managing Director of TUI Airways, was awarded the Scott-Farnie medal for their pioneering work introducing the UK’s first fully funded pilot cadet programme in over two decades.

Professor Iain Gray CBE, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, was bestowed with the companionship of the League for his outstanding achievements across aerospace.

The Founders’ Medal was awarded to National Air Traffic Services (NATS) for the simultaneous deployment of Systemisation and Free Route Airspace in March this year, which was a first for the country and transformed a third of the UK’s airspace infrastructure.

Samuel Gervais was awarded the Marshall of Cambridge medal for his exceptional support for The Air League Trust over the past decade, and Jeremy Greaves was presented with the President’s Meritorious Service Award.

For over a century, The Air League has presented honours and awards to individuals and organisations who have made outstanding contributions to aviation, aerospace, and space in the UK. This reception is where these major awards are presented.

The ceremony also featured a flypast by the Commando Helicopter Force and His Majesty’s Coastguard.

The event was generously sponsored by Airbus, Bristow, Marshall Group and Breitling.

Following the awards Sir Chris Harper, President of The Air League, said:

“It was an honour to recognise the achievements of so many outstanding individuals and organisations at last night’s reception. I am extremely grateful to the support of everyone who attended, the Department for Transport, and many of the deserving winners who have worked with Air League tirelessly to change lives through aviation.

“The many incredible achievements and contributions made by the recipients across aerospace, aviation, and space makes it undeniably clear that the future for our dynamic sector in the UK is bright indeed.”

Maria Laine, President of Boeing UK, Ireland & Nordic region said:

“We are immensely proud of our long and continued association with the Air League whose ethos of Changing Lives Through Aviation very much matches Boeing’s own priorities of improving youth engagement, increasing social mobility and supporting the veteran community.”

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