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NATA welcomes SVP of safety and education
Over the past 45 years, Keith DeBerry has tackled safety challenges from positions of some seniority. The former USAF Thunderbirds pilot's next role is to lead the development of safety education efforts for NATA.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has named Keith DeBerry as senior vice president of safety and education. DeBerry has served as NATA's senior advisor of regulatory affairs (maintenance) and liaison for its aircraft maintenance and systems technology committee since January 2020. In his new full time role, DeBerry will lead the development of safety education efforts, including programmes that help members from across the industry plan for, implement and develop SMS.

“Keith brings 45 years of aviation experience to the NATA team, including more than two decades in FAA leadership roles. We are thrilled to have someone of his calibre with a passion for aviation and putting members first to lead our safety and education programmes,” says president and CEO Timothy Obitts. “Keith's extensive experience, in everything from maintenance and aviation safety oversight to SMS and education programme development/implementation, as well as his passion for helping to kickstart next generation careers in aviation, will be tremendously beneficial in advancing the success of both our members and the entire industry in these key areas.”

Before joining NATA, DeBerry served as the FAA's academy director where he led a workforce of over 400 federal employees and hundreds of contractors in providing high quality, cost-effective learning solutions for thousands of aviation students each year. Additionally, DeBerry led the regulatory standards training division, where he was responsible for providing the FAA's aviation safety inspectors and engineers technical training, and managed the academy's flight programme, where he led the development and implementation of the FAA's first flight programme safety management system (SMS), utilising the new Part 5 SMS rule.

Throughout his 22-year federal career, DeBerry has gained extensive experience leading, directing and managing aviation safety oversight activities, preparing him for success in his role as the supervisory principal maintenance inspector for UPS Airlines, where he oversaw a workforce charged with Congressional mandated safety oversight of UPS Airlines' 300 aircraft fleet.

DeBerry served 22 years in the US Air Force, where he got his start as a maintenance technician and was later assigned as chief of maintenance for the Thunderbirds USAF Air Demonstration Squadron. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.

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