Press Release Article


Date: Nov 23, 2009
Press Release Number: 146-2009

Long-time Port Authority Aviation Director Receives Honor Posthumously

The late Bill DeCota was remembered today “as a national leader who was passionate about aviation and the national air transportation system” by the Aero Club of Washington, which named him the recipient of its Donald D. Engen Trophy for Aviation Excellence.

Susan M. Baer, the Port Authority’s aviation director, accepted the award for Mr. DeCota from the Aero Club’s board of governors.

Mr. DeCota, who most recently led the Port Authority’s initiative to promote the “Next Gen” satellite navigation system, served as the agency’s Aviation Director from December 1999 until his unexpected death in September 2009. 

“It’s a great honor to accept an award that recognizes one of the true giants this industry has ever known,” said Ms. Baer, who was named Mr. DeCota’s successor after serving as the Aviation Department’s Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer.   

The Aero Club highlighted Mr. DeCota’s legacy to the aviation industry, saying his “work on behalf of airports, airlines, general aviation and the traveling public make him a very deserving recipient of the Aero Club’s Engen Trophy.”

The Aero Club was originally founded to promote the Wright Brothers and their efforts.  The Engen award, named for Admiral Donald D. Engen, a former director of the National Air & Space Museum, commemorates the Wright Brothers’ historic achievements.  The permanent trophy resides in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Ron Marsico, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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