V. L. Laursen Award

The Laursen Award is given in honor of retired TWA Captain Vern L. Laursen, Staff Vice President-Flight Operations Training, who started his career with TWA in 1951 when he was hired to fly as a DC-3 co-pilot. Over the next six years, he flew the Martin 202, 404, Douglas DC-4 and the Lockheed Constellation, also as a co-pilot. In 1958, he attained the rank of Captain.

On September 1, 1979, Laursen was appointed as the TWA Staff Vice President, Flight Crew Training and remained in that position until his retirement in 1989.

A highly respected member of the airline industry, Laursen’s accomplishments are indeed too many to be addressed today. A small sampling might include that he represented TWA on the ATA Training Committee going on to be Vice Chairman, and subsequently, in 1983, became chairman of IATA. His expertise and knowledge are well known throughout the aviation community for his contributions in the areas of flight training, equipment, and procedures, and for his technical and administrative abilities for evaluating flight simulator and visual system applications.

His judgement and evaluation abilities were acknowledged further when he was selected from TWA as one of the first pilots from the USA to initially fly the Concorde SST for flight evaluation purposes.

As Staff Vice President-Flight Operations Training, Laursen was instrumental in leading TWA to becoming the first airline to achieve FAA certification for operation of the two engine B-767 across the Atlantic and development of procedures for use by other airlines that would follow suit in this, most significant, undertaking.

Captain Laursen is known throughout the airline industry as an individual who openly shared information in areas of flight safety and training that would benefit everyone concerned. His ability to interface with the Federal Aviation Administration in a timely and beneficial manner has earned him the highest respect from both the district and regional offices of the FAA.

The award is sponsored by the Air Transport Association.