The 2016 Aviation Awards

Judges & Judging

An independent panel of recognised and expert judges, representing the aviation industry sector, will determine the winners of the Aviation Industry Awards. Our focus is to deliver a balanced judging assessment from industry leaders who will bring their extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to the judging process ensuring that the winning entries are truly outstanding and worthy of receiving an Aviation Industry Award.

The panel is carefully selected to ensure the Awards' judging process is fair and objective. The Judges are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case that entry will be reallocated. The integrity of this process lies at the very heart of all that we do.
We recognise and respect the sensitive nature of the information submitted in the entries. Submissions are not disclosed or discussed outside the judging process. We do not publish the names of companies, organisations or individuals that have not been shortlisted for an Award, nor will we reproduce any information from your entry unless prior permission is given.

A comprehensive judging process has been put together to decide the worthy winners of the Aviation Industry Awards for 2016:

Judging Process

  1. After the closing date for receiving submissions, all entries will be sent for the first round of review.
  2. Entries will be carefully scrutinised with the best selected to go forward to the shortlist for each category.
  3. The shortlist of finalists will be published on the Awards website.
  4. Judges are divided into a minimum of two panels, ensuring any potential conflict is avoided.
  5. The judges will score each of the entries allocated to them against a predetermined set of scores.
  6. Scores are then collected and collated, with the entrant receiving the highest overall score being declared the winner of that category.
  7. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence, telephone, email or communication of any kind will be entered into in relation to decisions reached.


The 2016 Judging Panel

The winners of the Aviation Industry Awards 2016 will be judged by an expert panel of leading industry professionals.

 Brian Pearce

 Chief Economist, International Air Transport Association

Brian Pearce
 Brian Pearce is Chief Economist at the International Air Transport Association, where he leads a team providing economic analysis on the major public policy and industry issues facing airlines worldwide.  He is also visiting professor at Cranfield University’s Department of Air Transport, and was a member of the UK DfT and UK Airports Commission’s expert panel and an expert adviser to ICAO on the design of market based measures. Before joining IATA in 2004 he worked at the sustainability think-tank Forum for the Future, and has been Chief Economist at Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club and Head of Global Economic Research at SBC Warburg Dillon Read, in London and in Tokyo.

Mark McAuley

 Director, Federation of Aerospace Enterprises in Ireland

Mark McAuley Mark McAuley is Director of the Federation of Aerospace Enterprises in Ireland (FAEI). The FAEI is a business sector within IBEC and is the national trade association for the aviation and aerospace industries. The FAEI has been working with Ireland's airlines, airports, MROs and leasing companies for over 20 years. It brings the industry together to make a concerted approach to the development of aviation policies and practices in Ireland.

Michael Treacy

 Manager Aviation Unit, Enterprise Ireland

Michael Treacy
 Michael has considerable experience in aviation and in addition has worked across other international industries including; food, medical devices and has managed key strategic projects with Enterprise Ireland while located at HQ and on overseas assignment in France and the Nordic markets.

Simon McNamara

 Director General, European Regions Airline Association



Simon McNamara
 Simon McNamara was appointed Director General on 1 January 2013. He is responsible to ERA’s board for the delivery and implementation of ERA’s work in the field of policy, events and communications. Under his leadership ERA is highlighting the aviation sector’s vital contribution to Europe’s future economic prosperity, particularly in the regions of Europe.

McNamara travels extensively within Europe meeting with policy-making bodies such as EASA and the European Parliament and Council. He is a sought-after speaker at industry events and provides comment and analysis on market issues across a range of international media.

A graduate of City University, London in Aeronautical Engineering, McNamara also holds an MSc from Canfield University in the UK in Air Transport Management. His career in aviation spans nearly 20 years – before joining ERA in 1999 McNamara held positions at the Flight Data Company and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations.


Patrick Blaney

 Chairman Aircraft Leasing, Finance & Law Programme, UCD Michael Smurfit    Graduate Business School

Partick Blaney
 Patrick Blaney is the Former Chief Executive Officer and Senior Executive of GPA Group plc, leading that business from its restructuring in 1992, with GE Capital, various M&A Transactions including recapitalisation with Texas Pacific Group (US Private Equity Firm) through to its sale to Debis AirFinance, now part of AerCap Holdings NV.

Patrick is also the Founding Partner, Shareholder and Former Director of Amber Infrastructure Group Holdings Limited and Former Director of Shannon Airport plc.

Mr. Blaney has 30+ years' experience in the aircraft, airports and infrastructure financing businesses.


Dr. Ronan O’Higgins

 Course Director, BE Aeronautical Engineering, School of Engineering, University Limerick

Ronan O'Higgins
 Dr. Ronan O’Higgins is the Course Director of the Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering programme at the University of Limerick. He is a graduate of the same course and has a PhD. in composite aircraft structures. In his career to date, he has worked in the Structural Repair and Component Maintenance Group (SRCM) at the Boeing Company, Seattle and was a researcher on the Airbus led EU funded MAAXIMUS project, dedicated to optimising commercial aircraft composite fuselage design and manufacture. His current research focuses on manufacture and repair of advanced aerospace composites structures, involving work with companies such as Bombardier and the European Space Agency (ESA). Through his teaching and research roles he regularly interacts with industry both nationally and internationally. He is a technical assessor for the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) and is a member of Commercial Aircraft Composite Repair Committee (CACRC).  

P.J Byrne

 Associate Professor in Management, DCU

P.J Byrne

P.J Byrne is an Associate Professor in Management in DCU Business School and former head of the Management Group in the school. Prior to this he worked as a Senior Research Fellow in the Enterprise Research Centre in the University of Limerick. Prof. Byrne has played a leadership role in the development of the aviation domain in DCU over the past ten years. He initially led the development of DCU’s flagship aviation programme, the BSc in Aviation Management (with Pilot Studies) which was launched in 2009 in the CAO and enrolled its first students in 2010. He has also played a lead role in the development of the Dublin Aviation Institute, a joint venture between DCU and the Dublin Airport Authority launched in 2014 and in the development of the MSc in Aviation Leadership which took in its first students in 2015. He is an external examiner for the BSc in Aviation Management in City University, Hong Kong.

In addition, Prof. Byrne has an extensive track record in industrial based research and is a founding member of the Modelling and Simulation Research Group in Dublin City University Business School.


  Other Judges Include:

 Gareth Governey         Director, Corporate & Structured Banking, HSBC Bank


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