aviation workshop Sedan Crater

NNSS hosts 25th Annual Aviation Safety Workshop

aviation workshop Sedan Crater
Workshop participants visit the Site’s iconic Sedan Crater.

“This is going to be the best year yet.”

So said Department of Energy (DOE) Aviation Program Analyst Patricia Hagerty of the DOE Office of Aviation Management’s 25th Annual Aviation Safety Workshop, held for the first time ever in Las Vegas.

More than 50 members of the DOE aviation community flew in from across the country and gathered at the Nevada National Security Site’s (NNSS) North Las Vegas Facility to discuss the takeoff for this year’s workshop.

Proud to host the workshop, Nevada Field Office Manager Steven Lawrence discussed what makes the NNSS the ideal place for it.

“What’s most unique about Nevada and the Nevada National Security Site is the fact that we have more than 1,350 square miles of our own airspace,” Lawrence said.

In addition to helping attendees meet their annual training requirements, the workshop is also an opportunity to discuss safety, new policies and directions – as well as connect or reconnect with friends and fellow workers.

“We don’t see each other face to face,” said Mission Support and Test Services Aviation Safety Administrator Bob Ziehm, “so this puts us all in the same room.”

The recent three-day workshop included a tour of the Remote Sensing Laboratory-Nellis and the NNSS, along with a visit to the Desert Rock Airstrip.

aviation workshop awards
Donnie Schuessler (left) accepts the NNSS’ award during the workshop.

The workshop concluded with an awards ceremony, where the NNSS received the 2017 U.S. DOE Jeff Snow Aviation Program Memorial Award. (Awards presented in 2018 recognize accomplishments from 2017.) This award was given because the NNSS “distinguished themselves in 2017 in their primary mission to provide aerial platforms for radiological sensing, aerial multi-spectral measurement and other homeland-defense-related activities for other Federal, State and City governments.”

Other awards given included: the U.S. Department of Energy Aviation Management/Safety Professional Commercial Aviation Services Program, awarded to Gus Fadel, Office of Science Oak Ridge Office; the U.S. Department of Energy John Cooley Aviation Operations/Support Professional Memorial Award, given to Mark Arnholt, director of operations – pilot, Aviation Operations Division Office of Secure Transportation and the National Nuclear Security Administration; the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Aviation Safety Professional, given to H. Scott Spindler, safety officer – pilot, Aviation Operations Division, Office of Secure Transportation and the National Nuclear Security Administration; and the Aviation Management Professional Award, given to William “Bill” Duncan, supervisory aircraft pilot – Director of Operations, Bonneville Aircraft Services, Bonneville Power Administration.