Proudly we share from NATA’s website the announcement of this year’s Top Honor Recipient of the William A. Ong Memorial Award is Edward M. Kilkeary, Sr.

Ed joins the list of accomplished predecessors of the William A. Ong Memorial Award, many of whom he refers to as friends. He will be recognized next month at the NATA 2017 Aviation Business Conference in Washington, DC.


Washington, DC, May 11, 2017 – The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its highest annual honors. The William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award, will be presented to Edward M. Kilkeary, Sr. and the NATA Distinguished Service Award will be presented to David Todd Duncan. The Awards Presentation Luncheon will take place June 7th in conjunction with the NATA 2017 Aviation Business Conference.

The William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award, is named in honor and memory of the association’s co-founder and first president and given for extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry. This year’s award recognizes Edward M. Kilkeary, Sr., an innovative business leader, pilot and former NATA Board Member with an aviation career spanning more than 40 years.

Kilkeary, a Vietnam War veteran, co-founded L.J. Aviation in 1980 with his wife Mary Ann. The company now operates a fleet of 30 aircraft and has grown into a true family operation: Edward M. Kilkeary, Jr. is President of Operations, Kellie Kilkeary is Vice President of Human Resources, and Brad Kilkeary is Vice President of Pilot Services.

Kilkeary’s leadership has contributed to L.J. Aviation’s recognition as an industry leader, listed among Professional Pilot Magazine’s Best Charter Services. In 2004, he was nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his impact within the aviation community and entrepreneurial accomplishments. Continuing to log more than 400 hours yearly and 25,000 hours to date, Kilkeary holds an airline transport pilot rating in both fixed and rotary wing equipment and is type rated in the Hawker, Falcons, Westwind, Learjets, Citations, Challengers and Bell Helicopters. Kilkeary’s dedication to safety was demonstrated by L.J. Aviation’s early adoption of the NATA Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training and Air Charter Safety Foundation Industry Audit Standard, as well as other industry safety programs and ratings.

“NATA and its membership are proud to present Ed Kilkeary with the Ong award,” stated NATA President Martin H. Hiller. “For over 40 years, Ed has been an acknowledged aviation leader with a tireless commitment to the operation of a safe and successful, family-run business. He continues to leave his mark on the industry through his ongoing innovation and his magnanimous spirit.”

To read the full press release, please visit

For a list of past recipients, please visit