Launceston Airport, Swoop Aero, and Rex were among the big winners of the first Australian Aviation Awards at The Star on Thursday night.
More than 20 organisations or individuals took home trophies at the gala dinner, held with the support of principal partner UNSW Sydney and its School of Aviation.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Australian Aviation’s Adam Thorn said, “No country relies on aviation as much as Australia. It is to the credit of the whole industry, therefore, that we all made it through the pandemic.
“Our nominees and winners, however, did something even more special. They thrived during the toughest period in aviation’s history. A huge congratulation to everybody involved in these awards.”
In total, more than 430 members of the aviation industry glammed up and turned up to celebrate the industry’s achievements and cheer their peers, while Australian comedian, television producer, and member of The Chaser team Julian Morrow assumed emcee duties.
A total of 118 finalists battled it out for 20 individual and group awards, while the highest-scoring individual category winner was declared the recipient of the first-ever Australian Aviation Professional of the year.
This year, that coveted prize was conferred to specialist aviation technology provider Kestrel Aviation head of training Richard Butterworth after he was named Rotary-wing Pilot of the Year earlier in the evening.
Other individual winners included representatives from universities, the Department of Environment and Science, Tristar Aviation Company, Mirragin, Qantas, and Star Aviation.
Group winners included start-up Swoop Aero and Australian technology company Seeing Machines, while Launceston Airport and industry association Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems also received recognition for their achievements.
Australian Aviation would like to thank its partners for their invaluable support, including principal partner UNSW; platinum partner Aerologix; gold partners Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Air BP, and Aviassist; industry partner Leonardo; and charity partner Invictus Australia.