Tom Kok, director of the AviAssist Foundation, is this year’s recipient of the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award.
Kok, who has led AviAssist since 2008, earned the award for his dedication as the driving force behind the organisation for a quarter of a century. The efforts have resulted in major aviation safety improvements across the African continent, said the Laura Taber Barbour Foundation.
AviAssist’s approach focuses on promoting aviation safety and making training available and affordable for every country based upon a common interest in safe air transportation across the continent.
The Foundation said, Kok’s passion for improving aviation through training and education led him to create a culture of safety that effectively bridges the differences between Africa’s diverse countries and their varying levels of aviation industry experience.
Kok leveraged his network in East Africa to establish the AviAssist Safety Promotion Centre, hosted by the University of Rwanda, rapidly generating interest from other countries wanting similar safety training centres.
“His enduring vision is to help achieve the highest level of aviation safety for all of Africa. As he explores new paths to ensure his vision is fulfilled, Kok’s personal commitment paves the way,” said the Foundation.
The official presentation of the 68th annual Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award will take place during the 76th annual Flight Safety Foundation International Air Safety Summit, which takes place November 6-8. 2023 in Paris, France.
ABOUT THE LAURA TABER BARBOUR AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION AND AWARD
On April 14, 1945, after visiting family in Pittsburgh, Laura Taber Barbour was aboard a Pennsylvania Central Airlines DC-3 when it crashed into the rugged terrain of Cheat Mountain near Morgantown, West Virginia. All passengers and crew were killed. In 1956, her husband, Clifford E. Barbour and son, Cliff, established the Award in her honour.
For 68 years, this long distinguished award has recognised those responsible for crowning achievements in aviation safety worldwide.