|Gassaway Honored by Phillips 66
By Tom Richards
Owen Gassaway Jr.
Owen Gassaway Jr. has been a pilot for 56 years, a prime mover behind
Lantana Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida. But perhaps most importantly,
he has introduced tens of thousands of young people and young adults
to the world of aviation.
That was a large part of what earned Gassaway the 2002 Phillips
66 Aviation Leadership Award, presented in ceremonies Tuesday at
EAA Air Venture. The award pays special attention to volunteer work
with young people.
Since 1973, Gassaway, owner of Florida Airmotive FBO at Lantana
Airport, has introduced more than 40,000 young and old people to
general aviation. He has been an active supporter of the EAA Young
Eagles program. He bought a Cessna 172, which he had emblazoned
with an eagle mural, to be used exclusively for this program.
Gassaway started a Boy Scouts Aviation Tour program in 1994, and
in 1999 he established an Aviation Explorer Post as part of a Learning
for Life program.
He also is credited with helping aviation-related businesses at
Lantana Airport. Since the 1940s, Gassaway has transformed the airport
from an under-used, under-developed airport into a general aviation
hub serving the East Coast