Dear Members:

In 2017, the GMAA turns 90!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students, individual members and corporate members of the Greater Miami Aviation Association for their support.  This was the best year for the scholarships. Our Gala was one of the most attended in years; we had many fantastic speakers and support from our sponsors.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following speakers and companies that have supported our 2016 Luncheons:

Our Scholarship

The 2016 Wright Brothers Memorial Gala bbenefitingthe GMAA Batchelor Aviation Scholarship fund was an amazing success. We issued scholarships over $55,000.00, not including an A320 type rating donated by PAN AM Fight training.

This year’s Gala was attended by 300 people to celebrate the students who received scholarships and the esteemed colleagues who were honored.

Wright Brothers Memorial Award

Laurans A. Mendelson, Chairman & CEO; HEICO Corporation


The Greater Miami Aviation Association Wright Brothers Memorial Award is the most prestigious of the GMAA’s awards. Having begun in 1927 as a pioneering Miami-based Florida-focused civil aviation advocacy group, today the GMAA membership and activities are concentrated in and encompass the advancement of the aviation and aerospace community on a global scale.

The Greater Miami Aviation Association Wright Brothers Memorial Award parallels the growth and evolution of the GMAA organization. It is proudly presented to an internationally distinguished industry leader whose substantial contribution to the aviation and aerospace community reflects the innovation, vision, conviction and admired business principles attributed to the positive impact and legacy upon aviation of the Wright Brothers.

Juan Trippe Award

Robert Korn, President; Apollo Aviation Group


This award recognizes the significant contributions made by an individual to the development of international aviation. Juan Trippe started Pan American World Airways, Inc. in 1927. Under his leadership, Pan Am essentially represented America’s commercial aviation policy overseas by pioneering international routes and operating global daily flights.

Glenn Curtiss Award

Rene Mantilla, Principal; George T. Baker Aviation Technical College


This Award recognizes extraordinary contributors to the air transport, business and private aviation sectors in the Americas and South Florida for their innovation, customer support and product quality and in the field of education. 

Amelia Earhart Award

Ursula Davidson, Aviation professor; FL Goldcoast Chapter of the 99s


This award celebrates women in aviation and stands for outstanding achievement and accomplishment.

Edward V. Rickenbacker Award

Donald A. Campion, President & Head Coach; Banyan Air Services Inc.


The Edward V. Rickenbacker Award is named for the former Chairman & CEO of Eastern Air Lines, who helped make South Florida a major aviation center and set. His example of the American work ethic is the basis for this award, recognizing an individual whose efforts in commercial aviation have contributed to the economic growth of South Florida.

Corporate Achievement Award

The Boeing Company


Rick Navarro, Director of Operations
Boeing Flight Services
Commercial Aviation Services

This award recognizes the contributions of a corporation to the aviation industry and the South Florida community.



I would like to recognize CTS Engines and HEICO for their generous contributions to assist our scholarship. 

We would like to thank all of the 2016 Gala Sponsors

In 2016 we had 2 successful Golf tournaments in which we were able to raise money for the Scholarship Fund. I would like to thank Dan Sullivan and the volunteers for all their assistance.

2017 will be the 90th Anniversary of the Greater Miami Aviation Association, 90 years “WOW” We are planning now to produce the best Gala in years.  Save the date October 21,2017. We already have the first of many great items to auction , Atlantic Models has prepared a nose cone signed by the Miami Heat Players.

Please be reminded that we are always open for suggestions for Speakers & Sponsors for our monthly Luncheons. Please contact Connie Devine or any board member.

Last, I would like to thank all the board members for the countless hours they donate to ensure the continued success of our great organization.

 I wish all of you a safe and prosperous 2017

Victor J.Bontorno

Victor Bontorno
Director – Distribution, Rotables & Ground Support Test Equipment
Barfield, Inc.
305-894-5408 office
786-348-8717 cell