Latest News

Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Former FAA Executive Director Dorenda Baker to Receive NATA’s Distinguished Public Service Award

Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is pleased to announce that Dorenda Baker, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR), will be awarded the Association’s Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA). Baker will be recognized during the June 18th Industry Excellence Awards Presentation Luncheon held in conjunction with the NATA 2019 Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference.

The special annual honor is given by NATA's Board of Directors and members, recognizing outstanding public service and contributions to the industry. On November 30, 2018, Baker completed a decorated career of public service, spanning more than three decades.

“The National Air Transportation Association is honored to recognize Dorenda Baker’s 32-year tenure with the FAA. Dorenda’s commitment to aviation is marked by her esteemed public service record, beginning and ending her professional career with the agency. Her tireless work, knowledge, and relationship with the general aviation industry improved the aircraft certification process for our membership and other stakeholders,” stated NATA President Gary Dempsey.

In Baker’s role as the Executive Director of the AIR, she was responsible for type certification, production approval, airworthiness certification, and continued airworthiness of the U.S. civil aircraft fleet. Dorenda led a professional workforce of more than 1,300 employees in 35 U.S. and 2 international offices.

“Dorenda’s strategic thinking and perspective on innovation set the stage for Aircraft Certification Service to address new technology such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems. She was also instrumental in setting a path for FAA to become known as the Gold Standard for international safety agreements,” added Carol Giles, NATA’s Senior Advisor of Regulatory Affairs, Maintenance.

Baker also served in several FAA aviation safety and oversight positions: with prior responsibility of the AIR’s Small Airplane Directorate’s national policy and regulatory direction; she oversaw engineering and manufacturing activities in a 21-state area; under detail to the Associate Administrator of Aviation Safety, she led the Comprehensive and Proactive Safety Management Approach Integrated Product Team for the interagency Joint Planning and Development Office for the Next Generation Air Transportation System; and her early FAA work included program management and project engineering for fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Baker earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Contact NATA at or (202) 774-1535 ext. 6 for more information on the Industry Excellence Awards Presentation Luncheon and to secure tickets. Registration is also available for the full Aviation Business Conference at

For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for more than 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.