NAA Names 2023 Henderson Trophy Recipient


The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced that it will award the 2023 Clifford Henderson Trophy to Sisters of the Skies. The organization was selected for “their commitment to increase awareness of the opportunities in aviation and increase the number of Black female pilots who are introduced, celebrated, and supported through their scholarship, mentorship, professional development, and outreach programs.” Sisters of the Skies was launched in 2016 with the goal of connecting Black female commercial and U.S. military pilots.

“The growth of aviation as an industry and as a career is threatened by the lack of a broad pipeline for talent,” said NAA President and CEO Greg Principato. “Sisters of the Skies makes an incredible contribution to solving that problem. They are building the future of aviation. It is exactly this kind of passion and commitment that we seek to honor with the Clifford Henderson Trophy, and it will be an honor to present the 2023 award to Sisters of the Skies.”

Named for Clifford W. Henderson, the current iteration of the Henderson Trophy was first awarded in 1960. According to NAA, nominees are proposed by the association’s president and approved by its executive committee. Awarded annually, the Henderson Trophy goes to “a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace.”

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. “the current iteration of the Henderson Trophy was first awarded in 1960.”

    I assume that this years award will have the same overall success as the last 60+ years of “significant and lasting contributions” so we can all rest easier. No offense but I would really like to know the tangible results of such awards over time before giving accolades. Thanks.

  2. The pilots are going to have to come from somewhere, why not tap a plentiful pool of candidates? Encouragement and corporate investment are needed NOW, if not sooner, to meet the world’s future demands.

    From a 21 Aug ’23 report I just Googled: “…the current Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook concludes that the aviation industry will need to supply more than 602,000 commercial airline pilots worldwide over the next 20 years.”

    I’m reminded of the CPTP program prior to WWII when such obvious future aviation needs inspired action instead of skepticism. I also recall flying AFROTC Cadets at Craig AFB in 1974, including females who were, at the time, barred from military flying only because they used a different bathroom! One young lady, from an aviation family, flew my T-37 so well I could have soloed her that same week!

    The key words here are “passion and commitment,” both dearly needed if we are to meet Boeing’s goals and continue to lead the aviation profession, both commercial and military.
    Let’s go “AB,” NOW!

    • +1.

      “… action instead of skepticism.” So very appropriate, especially here in the AVWeb Comments section, which is sad.

    • We need reality, not platitudes and politics. Point is that these days you have to work as a slave for 10 -15 years JUST to be eligible for a higher paying job in the airlines. That’s a tall order for anyone; taller for women from 18 – 40 for obvious reasons.

  3. Probably best that Mr Foyt keep his opinions to himself.
    Sounded pretty racist to me, shame it ruins reading a nice little human interest story.
    This is meant to be an aviation forum, not a political soapbox.

    • Yes, Arthur seems consistently to be one of the first of our AWOGs to pile on to these types of stories.

    • Nothing is racist about asking about asking about the effectiveness of the program nor the reality of the work required. The “opinions” bringing up racism are not mine. Please keep the politics and inappropriate personal attacks off the forum. Thanks.

  4. SteveCK ? AWOGs
    Whatever it is AJF is always on this forum making a nuisance of himself.
    “Like slaves” is a pretty obvoius dog whistle.
    Arthur the program seems quite effective – look at all those smiling pilots and don’t get triggered this time!

    • Dog whistle? Ya lost me. All I’m relating to is the reason that I did not became an airline pilot after I got married. It was slave labor for years to gain enough hours to get into airline duty. Now it’s even more hours at less equivalent pay!

      WHAT IS the effective rare is all I asked. So far, all people do is call “racism” and call names. Anyone out there want to talk reality, facts and real-world obstacles? Thanks.