Published On: Fri, Nov 15th, 2013

ALTA rewards outstanding leadership and service excellence in the Latin American Aviation Industry

LogoALTACANCUN - The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) presented the Federico Bloch and the Rolim Amaro awards last night to Alex de Gunten, Business Development Officer (BDO) of HEICO´s Flight Support Group (FSG) and to the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil - ANAC, respectively, for their outstanding leadership and delivery of service excellence in the commercial aviation industry in Latin America. The awards have been presented annually for the past seven years during the Gala event that is part of the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum, this year celebrated at the Iberostar Hotel in the city of Cancun, Mexico.

The Federico Bloch Award

Alex de Gunten, Business Development Officer (BDO) of HEICO´s Flight Support Group (FSG), received the 2013 Federico Bloch Award, for transforming the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association into a powerful, impactful and well-recognized voice for commercial aviation in the region.  In the course of a decade, Alex de Gunten redefined the role and contributions of the association on every dimension - membership, finances, events, awards, publications and, perhaps most importantly - advocacy and industry-wide impact.  Under his direction, the association has had a substantial impact on issues affecting its membership across three primary domains - safety, efficiency, and the environment - with measurable and tangible results in each.  As a result of his tireless efforts, persistency, resourcefulness, passionate advocacy, Alex de Gunten has shaped ALTA into the powerful voice and vehicle for the industry that it is today.

Mr. de Gunten, who was presented the award by Mr. Enrique Borgo Bustamante, ex-President of TACA and ex-Vice President of El Salvador, in representation of Ms.Jacqueline Laffite de Bloch, widow of Federico Bloch, and her family, stated "This award is a recognition of the great commitment and efforts of the whole ALTA Family, the best Airlines, the best staff and the best industry leaders. 10 years ago the region and it players where not regarded as highly as today, but now we have a very competitive, vibrant and healthy commercial aviation. I am very proud and blessed to join the distinguished list of past honorees, and look forward to continuing to work for a more efficient and competitive industry in my new role at HEICO."

The Federico Bloch award recognizes outstanding leadership in the advancement and integration of the commercial aviation industry in Latin America. It is awarded to an individual who launches a successful new business; builds cooperation across the region; introduces progressive business practices; supports the growth of the industry by creating conditions for success; or goes beyond the call of duty to advance the interests of the aviation industry in Latin America and the Caribbean. The award commemorates the legacy of the late Federico Bloch, a pioneer in Latin American aviation and a driving force behind the creation of Grupo TACA, a group of five airlines in Central America.

The Federico Bloch Award is managed by leading executive search consulting firm Spencer Stuart and the winner is voted on by an independent panel of five judges, including:

  • Fernando Pinto, President of TAP Air Portugal and former President of Varig
  • Alfonso Pasquel, Chief Operating Officer of DESC S.A. and former President of   Aeromexico
  • Enrique Borgo Bustamante, former President of TACA and former Vice President of El Salvador.
  • Mark Pilling, Publisher of Flight Global Publications
  • Emilio Romano, President of Telemundo Media and former President of Grup Mexicana de Aviación

The Rolim Amaro Award

This year´s recipient of the Rolim Amaro award was the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil - ANAC, represented by Director Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino. ANAC is the Brazilian agency responsible for the regulation and the safety oversight of civil aviation and was established in March 2006. The organization was selected as this year´s winner for its continuous efforts to develop internal safety procedures aligned with the world´s highest safety standards, including its support of airlines´ initiatives to manage wildlife impact and data sharing programs. ANAC is also currently working on an internal Safety Group for Brazil which will replicate the activities and projects of RASG-Pa, where the agency currently holds the Vice Co-Chairman position and actively collaborates with all its initiatives.

As one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, ANAC is committed to its role of leadership and excellence in order to supply the services needed to its stakeholders, thus ensuring safety and efficiency in aviation. Mr. Pellegrino, who was presented the award by Mr. Marco Antonio Bologna, CEO of TAM Airlines and a friend and colleague of Captain Rolim Amaro,commented, "ANAC's vision is to be an authority recognized as a leader by the International Civil Aviation Community, and having one of the five lowest rates of accident in the word by 2014. This award is a true indication that we are getting closer to that original objective."

The Rolim Amaro Award honors customer service excellence from an airline perspective. Voted on by ALTA's Executive Committee, this award is presented to the Latin American or Caribbean aviation organization that exhibits the best overall customer service as determined by the airlines who are the users or customers of those organizations. In the past, the award has been presented only to airports. However, starting in 2009, the award was expanded to include other industry players such as air navigation service providers, civil aviation authorities and independent regulators. The criteria was also expanded to include not only exceptional customer service, but also initiatives or projects that have resulted in a more efficient and/or safer airline industry.

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