Current Recipient

Ken Smart


For his distinguished and tangible contributions to aviation safety in his roles at the United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and at British Airways, along with numerous additional contributions to professional bodies,charities and other organizations. Ken Smart joined the AAIB in 1975 and served for three decades during which he was actively involved in several landmark investigations. As Chief Inspector of
Accidents from 990-2005, Ken Smart was instrumental in advancing the reputation of the UK AAIB in aviation safety around the world. His outstanding stewardship of the AAIB led to other sectors such as healthcare, rail and marine transport seeking his insight. Since 2005,Ken has served as Chairman of the Board of the Safety Review Committee and Non-Executive Director of British Airways, where he helped develop the senior leadership’s team approach to managing safety and provided substantial insight into the opportunities of safety management systems and just culture. During this same period,he was a Visiting Professor at Cranfield University, where he is Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre. Ken Smart’s entire career has been dedicated to aviation safety and he has been actively sharing his knowledge and expertise, there by enhancing safety across all forms of transportation. The Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Foundation is pleased to recognize Ken Smart with the 2016 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award for his lifelong dedication, superior performance, and substantial contributions to aviation safety around the world.