On November 4, Southwest Airlines' very own Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Herb Kelleher, was honored by the Bar Association of the National Transportation Safety Board as he was presented the Joseph T. Nall Safety Award at the organization’s National Air & Transportation Law Conference in Washington, D.C.
Although Herb relinquished the titles of President and CEO in 2001 and retired from his role as Chairman of the Board in 2008, his contributions to aviation Safety not only permeate our Company Culture, but they continue to be far reaching across the entire airline industry. Within Southwest, Herb’s Leadership helped establish a Company based on hard work, mutual respect, and FUN. Employees are encouraged and empowered to always do what is right—one of the keys to our success—and, even from day one, Herb knew that doing “the right thing” was good for business. Under Herb’s guiding hand, Southwest grew from a small intrastate carrier in 1971 into the national force it is today with a longstanding Safety record that is unprecedented in the airline industry.
The Safety and Security of our Customers and Employees have always been at the heart of our operation, and thanks to Herb’s Leadership and vision, the promotion and awareness of Safety manifests in everything we do. Over the years, Herb championed the development of new Safety programs and supported implementation of standardized industry best practices (many of which exceeded established guidelines and regulations). Herb continues to encourage the facilitation of relationships and sharing of Safety and Security information between air carriers, academia, and government agencies (including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
Herb, we are infinitely proud of your significant contributions to aviation Safety, and of the positive Safety and Security Culture you shaped within Southwest Airlines. Congratulations on your achievement!