AOPA President Phil Boyer today presented an AOPA Presidential Citation to Arlene Feldman, who has just retired as head of the FAA's Eastern Region.
"Arlene has been a true public servant, in all the best senses of the phrase," said Boyer. "Not only has she paved the way for many women in aviation, she has been a true friend and defender of general aviation."
Feldman was first appointed regional administrator of the FAA's New England Region in 1988, the first woman to hold that position. (FAA has nine regions, which each include flight standards district offices and airport district offices.) While there, she established an effort to recruit women and minorities into top FAA positions and created a region-wide mentoring program, which became a mode for others.
As FAA's Eastern Region administrator, she established a community outreach program as the first step in mitigating aircraft in the Northeast. That led to an airspace redesign effort to reduce community noise and increase efficiency.
She held previous management positions at FAA's Hughes Technical Center and Western Pacific Region.
Feldman became the first woman to head a state aeronautics office when she was appointed New Jersey's director of Aeronautics. She helped write the legislation establishing that state's aviation trust fund. She also dedicated much time to developing aviation education in the public schools and supporting programs to stimulate aviation interest and awareness in children and adults.
She's an AOPA member and holds a private pilot certificate.
September 8, 2005