The Aerospace Industries Association is proud to present the annual “Wings of Liberty” award to Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama for his work to ensure funding for defense and non-defense programs vital to our national security and the health of our nation’s aerospace industry.

The Wings of Liberty award is presented annually to a member or members of Congress who make significant contributions to bolster aerospace and national defense. The award is given each year during National Aerospace Week; past honorees can be found on our website here:

“Honoring Senator Shelby tonight with the Wings of Liberty reflects our deep appreciation for his strong and continued focus on aerospace and defense issues,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “Over his four decades of service, he has immersed himself in understanding the issues that affect our industry and worked with colleagues across the aisle to provide funding for programs that impact every American: from civil aviation to defense to space.”

Senator Shelby is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and chairs the Defense Subcommittee. Previously, Senator Shelby chaired the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee, which provides funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Transportation Subcommittee which handles the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Since taking over as Senate Appropriations Committee chairmanship earlier this year, Senator Shelby has worked in a bipartisan way with Ranking Member Leahy (D-Vt.) to lead a Senate appropriations process that has approved 9 of the 12 annual appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019 – a pace unmatched in recent years.

“Senator Shelby’s efforts to find bipartisan solutions and return the Senate to regular order is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the senator’s extraordinary abilities,” said AIA Chairman and Raytheon Company Chairman & CEO Thomas A. Kennedy. “On behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association, we thank Senator Shelby for helping ensure our brave servicemen and women will have the equipment and training they need to protect the safety and security of our nation.”