The Aircraft Operations Division (AOD) of Johnson Space Center has been named the best of the federal government’s aircraft operations, while Robert J. Naughton, AOD’s chief, won a prestigious honorable mention for his work as an aviation professional.

AOD won the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Federal Aviation Award. The award recognizes the safety, efficiency and effectiveness in aviation operation in the federal government. Naughton’s honor was part of the GSA’s Federal Aviation Professional Award.

The awards will be presented at 1 p.m. today at the GSA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the awards is to promote excellence in government aviation by recognizing the most outstanding federal aviation programs and professionals.

Johnson Space Center’s AOD has an operating budget of more than $50 million and employs more than 400 civil servants and contractor employees. It operates a variety of aircraft, including T-38N jet trainers, modified Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft, a Gulfstream I and a Gulfstream II, a KC-135 microgravity research aircraft, a modified B747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and a Super Guppy. It also supports the Air Force and the scientific community with two WB-57 high-altitude research planes. Together the aircraft accumulate more than 14,000 hours of flight time each year, with an impressive safety record. AOD has not had a major mishap in 20 years.

AOD’s major purpose is to provide space flight training to astronauts and to support the space station and space shuttle programs.

“Both these awards reflect the dedication and professionalism of very special people on the AOD team,” Naughton said. “They also show NASA’s intense focus on safety and excellence.”