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NATA welcomes new leadership while recognising Obitts' service
NATA thanks Castagna for his willingness to serve as president and CEO, while recognising the contributions of outgoing role holder Timothy Obitts.
Newly appointed NATA president and ceo Curt Castagna.

The board of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has revealed that Timothy Obitts will step down as president and ceo effective 1 September, 2022 as he continues to advance the cause of sustainability as the chief legal officer for Alder Fuels. Long Beach, California-based in-airport and aviation development, consulting and management services company Aeroplex Group Partners president and ceo Curt Castagna has been appointed to serve as the association's 11th president and ceo.

Since joining the NATA staff in November 2014, Obitts has also served as the association's chief operating officer, executive vice president of business operations and senior vice president of business and general counsel, overseeing the association's day-to-day operation and ensuring a member-first culture.

For most of the past three years as NATA president and ceo, Obitts was instrumental in advocating for its members during the Covid pandemic and personally guiding hundreds of aviation businesses through complex relief programmes. During his tenure with NATA, he brought leaders of other general aviation groups together in demonstrating the industry's commitment to sustainability through the promotion of initiatives that advance the proliferation of sustainable aviation fuels, encourage the use of Book and Claim programmes and provide a roadmap for FBOs, airports and other aviation businesses to reduce their environmental footprint.

“It has been an honour to serve the membership of NATA these past eight years. We have accomplished much together, overcome adversity, furthered the cause of aviation safety and raised awareness of the critical role that aviation businesses play in advancing society. I am proud and humbled to have been the leader of a great team at NATA and continue my support of leadership in advancing the association's success,” says Obitts.

NATA board chair Clive Lowe, executive vice president of FBO network Atlantic Aviation, says: “Tim was instrumental in guiding our members through one of the most challenging times in our history, assisting them in overcoming hurdles and refocusing them on new opportunities. On behalf of the NATA board, members and staff, I sincerely thank Tim for his years of service to the association and look forward to great things ahead under his guidance at Alder Fuels, as well as his continued advocacy for sustainability initiatives in our industry.”

With Castagna continuing his duties as president and ceo of Aeroplex Group Partners, this leadership transition follows a succession plan set up by the association several years ago to leverage the experience and dedication of its members to drive strategy and effect meaningful change in the industry. Marty Hiller first served in this capacity in 2016, consistently demonstrating his value to the association through a keen understanding of its membership's needs and insight in the development of innovative products and services.

Castagna will serve NATA's membership under this model, leveraging a proven industry background with a specific focus on trade association collaboration and stakeholder engagement to help take NATA into the next phase of flight. Prior to accepting the position, Castagna served over six years as an NATA board member, including two years as board chair and one year as immediate past chair.

“We all welcome Curt's expansive industry experience and knowledge of the association in helping to further NATA's impact through advocacy advancements, education innovations and an elevated industry presence. We appreciate Curt's long standing and continued commitment to NATA and will benefit greatly from his ability to foster progress through effective partnerships and community collaboration,” Lowe adds.

Castagna says: “I am honoured to continue my service to NATA members and the aviation business industry in my new role. My ability to serve in this capacity is based in part on the tireless efforts of Keith DeBerry as coo, Jason Miller as cfo and the entire dedicated NATA staff. Together, we will work to advance safety initiatives, enhance training opportunities, assist aviation businesses in navigating the needs of emerging industry markets and ensure business aviation policy is sound and aligns with our members' current operating environment."

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