Airways New Zealand respected aviation expert Lew Jenkins has won the prestigious Jean Batten Memorial Award from The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators – an award regarded as one of the world’s premier aviation accolades.
Mr Jenkins receives the award for his outstanding individual contribution to New Zealand aviation, in training and leading professionals in his chosen discipline of air navigation services. Upon hearing of his nomination for the award, Mr Jenkins said he felt “extremely humbled”. “This is a huge honour. It’s a proud moment, for me and for Airways,” Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Jenkins started his career in 1971 as a navigator in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, before becoming a civil air traffic controller in 1977. Climbing the ranks in Airways, he took the role of Chief of Air Traffic Services in 1995. Some notes from Mr Jenkins’ citation for the award:
“In training and leading professionals in his chosen discipline of air navigation services over the past 24 years, Lew has created a legacy of innovation and the pursuit of excellence in this sector of the New Zealand aviation industry.
“Promotion to Chief of Air Traffic Services in 1995 saw him manage the certification of the Airways Corporation into the new Civil Aviation Authority ATS Rules regime and bought his talents for innovative improvement in air navigation services to the fore.
“Lewis introduced the electronic flight strip system for improved efficiency in international control towers in New Zealand and, most recently, the internationally recognised development of ADS-B and multilateration for safer airspace management in the mountainous area of Queenstown.
“Lew has also demonstrated a strong personal awareness of customer safety and staff wellbeing, both at a strategic level and at times of crises like the volcanic ash events and earthquakes. Beyond the context of the normal demands and expectations of his career, in which he has reflected credit on Airways New Zealand in the international aviation community; Lew Jenkins has without doubt made an outstanding individual contribution to New Zealand aviation.”
Airways will fly Mr Jenkins and his wife Jill to join other nominees to receive their award at London’s medieval Guildhall on Wednesday 23 October 2013.
The winner of the premier award, the Guild Award of Honour for Aviation Heroism and Professionalism, was awarded to Apollo 13 Astronaut Jim Lovell. He headed the crew of Apollo 13 to safety after an in-space explosion led to the immortal words “Houston we have a problem”.