NBAA Marks the Passing of Association Veteran John A. Pope

Washington, DC, Jan. 9, 2017 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today saluted John A. Pope, a key figure in the development of NBAA and the business aviation industry, who passed away Jan. 8.

“For more than 20 years, John Pope tirelessly championed the priorities of the business aviation community in his service to NBAA,” Bolen said. “During his tenure, he was instrumental in the growth of both NBAA’s membership and annual convention, and his countless contributions to the association and the industry will long be remembered.”

Pope had a lasting impact on the association beginning in the 1960s. His broad areas of responsibility included not only membership recruitment and retention, but also annual meeting and convention management and ground-breaking operational guidance for members.

During Pope’s tenure at NBAA, the association’s membership grew from about 500 member companies in 1961 to nearly 3,000 at the time of his retirement in 1984 as vice president of membership services. He was responsible for developing NBAA’s annual convention into a sophisticated, revenue-generating exhibition of the latest business aviation equipment and services.

Further, Pope was the first to publish NBAA’s Recommended Standards Manual and bimonthly Management Aids, documents that are predecessors to today’s NBAA Management Guide. He also conducted operations manual workshops in which he helped flight departments develop standards procedures and policies, and he served as staff liaison to NBAA’s Corporate Aviation Management Committee and Association Membership Advisory Council.

For his contributions, Pope was honored in 2001 with the Pillar of the Association Award, which recognizes staff members’ efforts on behalf of NBAA. He was the first recipient of the award.

After his retirement from NBAA, Pope founded his own company to provide guidance to aviation department managers. He also was a freelance writer, who authored more than 50 articles on safety. Pope served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, flying transport aircraft during World War II. He was recalled to active duty three times during 22 years of service with the Air National Guard.

A native of New York and an English major from Pace College and American University, Pope worked in sales, public relations and management before joining NBAA. As part of his Air Force training, he completed studies at the Air Tactical School, Command & Staff School and the Air War College.


Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.