From the Editor: Nominations Open For 2021 Laureate Awards

laureate awards
Credit: Chris Zimmer

The aviation and aerospace industries have been through a year like none of us have ever experienced, and at times the deluge of bad news has overshadowed a more hopeful truth. The ideas, innovations and relentless drive to improve that have always been the industry’s hallmarks are still moving forward, laying the groundwork for a brighter future. It is in that spirit that we open up nominations for Aviation Week’s 64th annual Laureate Awards.

Since 1957, our editors have annually recognized great accomplishments in aviation, aerospace and defense with Laureates. Last year, the COVID-19 crisis forced us to present the awards online, in a virtual program. In 2021, we will return in person with an awards dinner on Oct. 18 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner outside Washington, D.C., coinciding with Aviation Week’s DefenseChain conference and Program Excellence Awards banquet at the same venue.

Multiple awards will be presented in four categories: Defense, Space, Commercial Aviation and Business Aviation. At the event, we also will reveal a Grand Laureate—the best of the best—for each of the categories. We’ll bestow our annual Philip J. Klass Lifetime Achievement Award. And we’ll continue a tradition of honoring outstanding cadets from the U.S. military academies.

Aviation Week’s editors cast a wide net around the globe, but they don’t see everything. That is why we encourage outside nominations. If you know of an achievement of merit—by a mission, program, person or technological advance—that occurred between Jan. 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, fill out a nomination form at We’ve simplified the form to make it quick and easy, but we have retained a broad array of nomination categories to encourage participation from across aviation and aerospace, from OEMs to suppliers.

One final note: Because of the COVID crisis, last year’s Lifetime Achievement winner, retired Pratt & Whitney President Bob Leduc, was unable to accept his award in person. We are inviting him to join us in October so we can fittingly recognize his four-decade career in aerospace propulsion and his many achievements and contributions to the industry.

So send in your nominations, mark Oct. 18 on your calendars, and prepare to join us for an evening that will celebrate our industry’s perseverance and the achievements that propel us forward to the future.

—Joe Anselmo, Editorial Director, Aviation Week Network 

Joe Anselmo

Joe Anselmo has been Editorial Director of the Aviation Week Network and Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology since 2013. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs a team of more than two dozen aerospace journalists across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.