Carl Bennett, a student in Florida Tech’s online aviation safety master’s program, has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2021 Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
Bennett is director of safety for Mayo Aviation, a Colorado-based national aircraft management, maintenance and charter provider.
Created in 2015, the award is named for Tony Kern, Ed.D., a retired U.S. Air Force pilot and leading authority on human factors training in aviation who is a founding partner and CEO of Convergent Performance. The peer-nominated award recognizes individual pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, dispatchers and other aviation professionals who excel in leadership in the areas of professional ethics, vocational excellence, continuous improvement, professional engagement, professional image and selflessness.
According to NBAA, Bennett exemplifies many of the award criteria, including continuous improvement and vocational excellence. Though deeply knowledgeable about aviation safety, he enrolled in Florida Tech’s aviation safety program understanding the value and power of deepening his education.
“I owe it to our clients and my company to be as informed and educated as I can be,” Bennett told NBAA. “I’m still learning and looking to add value.”
That he is enrolled at Florida Tech brings one aspect of his life full circle, Bennett said in an email to Florida Tech. As a high school junior, he visited the Melbourne university with intentions of studying oceanography and marine biology.
“Lots of life intervened. I attended another college, and my career took another path,” he said. “The symmetry ever present in the universe has now brought me back, and I’m privileged and proud to finally be enrolled, after so many years. It was destiny!”
He added, “I am supremely fortunate to be studying under the instructors and other contacts I have made, to date, while enrolled at Florida Tech. I am most grateful to them for their help in my continuing development.”
Bennett, who has a long background as a regulatory specialist in domestic and international transportation safety, compliance, training and operational requirements, says that he likes digging into the regulations and being familiar enough with them to be able to give his colleagues just the information they need. “I can take that burden off of people,” he said. “I like streamlining and simplifying the info.”
Growing up in rural Ohio, Bennett saw some airplanes flying overhead when he was a boy and was told by his family that he wouldn’t stop looking up. He now has more than 30 years of experience in Part 135 operations and was a founding board member of the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association. A past chairman of the Radiopharmaceutical Shippers and Carriers Conference, he is an expert on the regulations covering passenger and cargo carriage as well as radiopharmaceuticals, infectious substances, aircraft reconfiguration and more.