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The Balchen/Post Award
For Outstanding Achievement in Airport Snow and Ice Control
Alex M. Kashani, A.A.E.
PURPOSE OF THE AWARD The purpose of this award is two-fold: to promote better snow and ice control, and to recognize those individuals responsible for outstanding performance.
The plaque will be retained permanently at the recipient airport. In addition a "master" plaque containing the names of all past recipients will be retained by the Symposium for display at appropriate aviation functions.
AWARD SELECTION COMMITTEE:
Alex M. Kashani, A.A.E.
John L. Collins
Jeffery H. Gilley
Richard P. DeiTos, Jr.
Richard D. Kessel
Paul J. McGraw
Preston Benedyk, DAF
Commercial Airport-providing scheduled service and holding a Part 139 certificate (not a limited Part 139 certificate)
General Aviation Airport-including limited Part 139 certificate airports.
Type and size of airport
Due to these many variations, the matter of rating an airport becomes a factor of judgment rather than a mathematical or more precise methods of measurement.
The Award Selections Committee will be responsible for reviewing nominees for the award and making the final selection. The committee will consist of ten members, one each from the following organizations: International Aviation Snow Symposium, ALPA, AOPA, ATA, DOD, FAA, MWAC, NBAA, NEC/AAAE, and RAA.
IMPORTANT: In each case, the committee will consider the size and activity of the airport that has been nominated or made application directly. In most cases, the size and activity of an airport has a direct bearing on the resources (manpower and equipment) available to combat snow and ice conditions. This will mean that the lower activity airports will not be judged by all the above criteria.
Born in Tveit, near Kristiansand, Norway, he was the son of a country doctor. He joined the French Foreign Legion in 1918, then was released for service in the Norwegian Army. He then volunteered to fight for Finland's independence from Russia in 1981-1919. Seriously wounded, he returned to Norway and completed Army training. He was transferred to the Norwegian Naval Air Force in 1921. Balchen was an expert navigator and aircraft mechanic, as well as aviator. He was also a member of the Amundsen rescue team sent to Spitzbergen in 1925. Returning to Spitzbergen in 1926 with Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile Dirigible Expedition, he ssisted Byrd's Expedition and was invited by Byrd to come to America. He became employed by Fokker as test pilot. In 1926, Balchen was a pilot for Cdr Byrd on a transatlantic flight. Balchen's expert landing off the French coast saved the crew. Balchen returned to Fokker and assisted flight operations in Northern Canada. Balchen was chief pilot for Byrd's historic Antarctic Expedition in 1928-1930. Balchen was the first to fly over the South Pole. Upon returning to the United States, Balchen continued working as test pilot for Fokker. He participated in the Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition as chief pilot in 1933-1935. He returned to Norway in 1935 to help organize the Norwegian civil airline and pave the way for a Scandinavian civil airline union. He was instrumental in the eventual creation of SAS later in 1946.
In 1939 Balchen served as a consultant to the Finnish Air Staff, as well as a member of the Norwegian Armaments Commission. He successfully negotiated a cooperative US-Scandinavian civil air agreement for transatlantic flights in 1940. Balchen helped establish the Norwegian Air Force training base, "Little Norway", in Canada. Later in 1940, he served the RAF by ferrying aircraft to the Far East. Called to Washington by Gen "Hap" Arnold, he joined the US Army Air Force on September 5 and was deployed to Greenland to build a new key airfield in the North Atlantic aircraft ferry route, "Bluie West-8". Balchen led many daring rescues of downed aircrews in the period of 1942-1943. In January of 1944 Balchen was transferred to the UK to work for the Air Transport Command and the OSS by opening an air transport route from the UK to Stockholm. His mission was to support the resistance in Norway and transport over 2000 Norwegians from Sweden for military training in the UK and Canada. He conducted many clandestine operations in Sweden and Norway. He transported over 1000 US airmen who were released from internment by Sweden to the UK. Over 100 aircraft that had been downed in Sweden were repaired and flown back to the UK. He transported a German V-2 rocket from Sweden to the UK two months prior to the first use of the V-2 against the UK. After the war Balchen became president of Norwegian Airlines. He was awarded many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Harmon International Trophy, presented by President Eisenhower.
In 1946 Balchen helped form the SAS. He rejoined the USAF in 1948 and commanded an air rescue unit in Alaska. A 1949 flight from Alaska to Norway made him the first pilot to fly across both poles. In 1951 he assisted in the construction of the Thule Air Base in Greenland. He retired from the USAF in 1956. Colonel Balchen died in 1973.
Balchen was a founder and honorary chairman of the International Aviation Snow Symposium.
His involvement in aviation dates back to 1936, when he earned a degree in aviation administration and then began flying for an air-commuter service.
He served as manager of Allentown-Bethlehem- Easton Airport from 1938 to 1983. During World War II, Post organized the base operation at A-B-E- Airport that trained more than 1,500 aviation cadets.
Post became a charter member of the National Aviation Trades Association in 1940 and served on its Board of Directors. He was an Accredited Airport Executive, served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives, and was an active member of the Northeast Chapter/AAAE until his death in November 1996.For additional pictures on Mr. Balchen (Adobe File)