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ARSA Honors Gilligan’s Public Service with Weston Award

Over her decades long career with the FAA, Gilligan rose from an attorney in the Eastern Regional Counsel’s office, served as chief of staff for four different administrators and finally spent 20 years in the Aviation Safety organization. She became associate administrator in January, 2009, assuming responsibility for setting, overseeing and enforcing safety standards for the aviation industry.

“She has always been an honest, forthright broker unstintingly serving her country and the flying public through shifting political crosswinds,” ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod said when Gilligan announced her plans to retire this past January. “She earned the respect of the international aviation community and certainly has mine.”

MacLeod and ARSA demonstrated that respect through its Weston Award, which was first bestowed in 2005 on Weston himself. The award recognizes individuals who embody commitment to the aviation maintenance industry’s safety and success.

“Whether she recognized it or not, Peggy has been a mentor for me. I have long admired her steady guidance of the agency. Without her hand on the yoke, the politics of aviation safety would have grounded the industry. Instead, she has allowed us to design systems that can withstand political turbulence,” MacLeod said.

The announcement was made during ARSA’s annual member meeting on the last day of its 2017 Legislative Day & Annual Repair Symposium. Although Gilligan could not join the association during the symposium, it will be presenting her the Weston Award during a scheduled retirement event.

To see what else happened during the event, visit arsa.org/symposium.

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1/31/17 - ARSA on FAA’s Gilligan: An Exceptional Example

January 31, 2017

Sarah MacLeod, ARSA’s executive director, issued the following statement in response to the retirement announcement by Margaret “Peggy” Gilligan. On Jan. 30, Gilligan informed the aviation community that she planned to leave her position as associate administrator for aviation safety, which she’d held since Jan. 5, 2009.

“An advantage of a long career is experiencing the growth, maturation and long-term success of others devoted to good government and public service. If you seek an exceptional example of a representative for those principles, look no further than Peggy Gilligan. From the FAA’s eastern region to the chief counsel’s office to chief of staff for four different administrators and finally serving more than 20 years in the Aviation Safety organization, she has always been an honest, forthright broker unstintingly serving her country and the flying public through shifting political crosswinds. She earned the respect of the international aviation industry and certainly has mine.

“In Peggy’s message announcing her retirement, she joked about having joined the agency before some of her staff were born. We can only hope they absorbed a smidgen of her knowledge and experience; the depth and breadth of her impact on international aviation is the result of hard work, active listening and thoughtful interaction with the industry, legislators, regulators and colleagues.

“ARSA looks forward to working with whomever will assume her role, but we all recognize that nobody can take her place. Thank you, Peggy, and best wishes.”



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