Phil Brito Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Phil Brito award was established to recognize airport sponsors and their engineering and consultant teams for outstanding achievement in the execution of an aviation-related planning, design, or construction projects for airports located within the State of New York. This award is named in honor of Mr. Phil Brito, longtime manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s New York Airports District Office. During his career, Mr. Brito’s tireless efforts contributed greatly to the success of aviation in New York State.

Click here for the Application for the Phil Brito Memorial Scholarship Fund


  • Entries must be an airport planning or construction/design project completed within the previous calendar year.
  • The project must benefit an airport or airports located in New York State.
  • The airport and consulting firm must be current members of NYAMA, or join NYAMA at the time they submit their entry.


Planning Project- These projects may include master planning, airport site selection, strategic planning business/financial planning, rates & charges development, or other airport planning work.

Construction Project- These projects may include design and/or construction administration of airport-related civil or structural construction projects.


A panel of judges from the New York State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Bureau will evaluate the entries and select the NYAMA Grand Award and Honorable Mention for the Planning and the Construction categories. The entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Project Enhances or Expands Airport's Capabilities - 20% (service type/capacity is increased, added, or re-established)
  • Creativity/Originality/Innovation in Applying FAA Standards - 20% (novel, creative use of products or design techniques)
  • Social, Economic, and/or Sustainable Design-Planning Considerations - 20% (community asset, revenue enhancement, environmental, etc.)
  • Complexity - 10% (multi-discipline, multi-stage, multi-agency, etc.)
  • Exceeding Owner's Expectaitons - 10% (original objectives met plus additional benefits achieved)
  • Future Value to the Aviation Planning or Engineering Professions - 20% (project signifies proven success for addressing similar airport needs).

Bill Shea Award

The Bill Shea Award is given in honor of William F. Shea, an aerospace educator and lecturer who has had extensive experience in administration, education, government and aviation.

In April 2001 he was appointed to the Yolo County, Woodland California Transportation Advisory Committee, and because of professional and academic achievement, was appointed as a “reviewer” for the Journal of Air Transportation Worldwide at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Bill was a member of the University Aviation Association and is an Accredited Airport Executive. He received a B.A. Degree in government from the University of New Hampshire, a Masters Degree in education from Salem State College in Massachusetts, a Federal Aviation Academy Certificate, CTA Transit Institute, an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Hawthorne College, and obtained a certificate from the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, VA.

Bill has held number of aviation positions, including Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator for Airports, Presidential appointment (1981-85); Director of Aviation, Port of Portland (1976-81); Commissioner of Aviation, Binghamton, NY (three different times, Aviation and Transit); and Chief of Caltrans Aeronautics Division.Bill has also served as the Chairman for the FAA Aviation Education Committee. In addition to authoring numerous aviation-related published articles, Bill has presented many national airport policy speeches, both in the U.S. and abroad. He is a former Board Member for the Airport Operators Council, the first President of the New York Aviation Management Association (formerly New York Airport Managers Association), and a Regional Vice-President for the National Association of State Aviation Officials.

Secretary Elizabeth Dole presented to him the USDOT Gold Medal for "Meritorious Achievement" for Exemplary Performance as FAA's Associate Administrator for Airports and spokesman and advocate for the National Airport System;" FAA Administrator Don Engen presented Shea with the Silver Medal for "Superior Achievement Award for the exemplary manner he consistently performed his duties as FAA Associate Administrator for Airports." He received the Air Traffic Control Association Special Medallion Award; Outstanding Recognition by the Michigan Board of Aeronautics; Centennial Airport Award due to dedication to aviation, and the keys to the following cities: Baton Rouge, LA; Holland, ML and Bartow, FL; and he received an outstanding award for services to Broome County, Binghamton, NY.

Description of the Award

The Bill Shea Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and effected positive change in the aviation industry in New York State. Those eligible for the Award must have gone beyond the call of duty and given of their time, energy and resources to significantly impact the aviation industry in New York State for the better. Eligible individuals must also have developed a positive relationship with the New York Aviation Management Association, though he or she does not necessarily need to be a NYAMA member.

Nomination and Selection Process

The Bill Shea Award is presented at the New York Aviation Management Association’s (NYAMA) Annual Fall Conference. Any member of NYAMA may submit a nomination in writing to the Nominating Committee Chair no later than thirty days prior to the Fall Conference. Nominations should include a biography of the individual presented, specifically listing his or her past and current involvement in the aviation industry, and an explanation of why the individual should be considered for the Award. The nomination should be as descriptive as possible, providing specific examples of how the individual has demonstrated leadership, commitment, and effort beyond the call of duty in the cause of advancing aviation in New York State.

Maintaining the Standard of Excellence

The Bill Shea Award is an important way NYAMA can recognize those who have contributed in special ways to the industry. It is intended for those who have shown exceptional leadership and commitment to aviation in New York State.

NYAMA is not obligated to identify an Award recipient every year. Neither the Nominating Committee nor Board of Directors should feel obligated or responsible to identify a nominee, or select and individual(s) from a proposed list of nominees. The nomination and selection process is intended to ensure the Nominating Committee and Board of Directors are sufficiently impressed with the nominee’s qualifications and contributions, that there is no doubt of the selected Award recipient’s worthiness.

Individuals nominated for the Award but not selected to receive the award may be re-nominated in future years. No limit is placed on how many times an individual may be nominated.

Past Bill Shea Award Recipients

1996 Benjamin Manton

1997 Ken Brentley

1998 Denise Geraldi

1999 Richard Horstmann

2000 Ralph Hensel

2001 Robert Nicholas

2002 Terry Slaybaugh

2003 Phil Brito, NYADO

2004 Charles Everett

2005 Hugh Jones

2006 Steve Williams

2008 Bill DeCota

2009 Robert Lenuzza

2012 Fritz Kass

2013 Otto Suriani

2014 Larry A'Hearn

2015 Joel Russell

2018  Warren D. Kroeppel

2019 John A. O’Donnell 

2020 Ralph Tragale 

2021 William R. Vanecek 

2022 Christina R. Callahan

For further information, please contact NYAMA by phone (518-432-9973) or email ([email protected]).

Bill McShane Scholarship:

The Bill McShane Scholarship is presented to individuals interested in aviation, offering a scholarship of $2,000 to two students each year. William “Bill” McShane, who served on the NYAMA Board from 2000 through 2018, also served on NYAMA’s Executive Board from 2006-2010, including a term as president in 2009, and again as treasurer in 2013. Bill’s deep and abiding passion for the aviation industry was a gift that benefitted NYAMA’s membership throughout his tenure on the Board, and he dedicated countless hours of service to advancing the organization’s mission by deploying an intricate knowledge of the Empire State’s aviation businesses.

This scholarship will be presented to students who embody those attributes and are enrolled or will be enrolling in an institution of higher learning in the field of aviation in New York state. Application criteria is as follows:

  • Enrollment in an aviation-related degree (Aviation Management, Aviation Maintenance, etc.)
  • Enrollment in a college or university located in NYS
  • Applicant must be a NYS resident
  • Applicant should complete the application and include a brief statement of goals and aspirations for how this scholarship will assist in achieving a career in aviation.

Bill’s legacy continues to reward New York’s aviation community through this scholarship. Please send questions and completed scholarship applications to [email protected]. The deadline for the Summer/Fall 2022 semester scholarship award is March 30, 2022. (deadline passed)

Click Here for Application