Nominations sought for aviation safety award

April 14, 2014

The memory of a passenger who perished in an April 1945 airline accident continues to drive an effort to recognize notable achievements in aviation safety.

Nominations are being sought for the 2014 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award, conferred by the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Foundation and Flight Safety Foundation for achievement in "method, design, invention, study or other improvement" in aviation safety. The 2014 award will be presented Nov. 11 at the sixty-seventh annual International Air Safety Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the foundations said in an announcement.

The recipient will be selected "for a significant individual or group effort contributing to improving aviation safety, with emphasis on original contributions," and a "significant individual or group effort performed above and beyond normal responsibilities," the organizations said. They urged special consideration for nomination of "mechanics, engineers and others outside of top administrative or research positions." The contribution to safety "need not be recent, especially if the nominee has not received adequate recognition."

The award board will meet in June to review the nominations and select the 2014 recipient. Nominations may be submitted until the June 15 deadline by completing this online nomination form.

On April 14, 1945, Laura Taber Barbour was aboard a Pennsylvania Central Airlines DC-3 after visiting family in Pittsburgh when the aircraft struck Cheat Mountain near Morgantown, W. Va., killing all aboard. 

In 1956, Laura Taber Barbour’s husband, Dr. Clifford E. Barbour, and son, Cliff, established the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award in her memory.                                                            

The 2013 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award was presented to Robert Key Dismukes, recently retired chief scientist in the Human Systems Integration Division of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

In 2013, the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Foundation was formed from members of the Award Board, the aviation community and the Barbour family.  With airline flights predicted to grow rapidly in the coming years, "continued advancements in flight safety will be imperative for assuring future years of air safety," the awarding organizations said.