Walt Gillfillan Award

The Walt Gillfillan Award is presented annually at the UC Davis Aviation Noise & Emissions Symposium to an individual or organization whose exemplary achievements and contributions to noise abatement in aviation deserves special recognition. The award honors our symposium founder - Walt Gillfillan who was honored with the first award in 2006. Since then an additional 14 recipients have been so honored.

​Nominations Now Closed

Join us at the Monday night Awards Reception to honor this year's recipients!


Walt founded the symposium in 1985 through the UC Berkeley Continuing Education Department. It later came under the Technology Transfer Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies and then the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center in 2006. Walt continued to help advise and run the event until his retirement in 2011.

In addition to creating the symposium - Walt had his own consulting firm, Walter E. Gillfillan and Associates, providing advice and support to airports and others for more than 40 years. He specialized in the development, management and implementation of programs related to transportation planning - chiefly with airports - in both the public and private sectors. As a leader he facilitated community dialogue with airports and in managing complex issues with conflicting interests. He established the SFO and LAX Roundtables and managed both for many years.

Walt has a BS in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University and an MS in Transportation Engineering from UC Berkeley. He is a registered civil engineer in California and Wisconsin and a licensed private pilot. He was an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Southwest Chapter of AAAE, and the Association of California Airports.

Walt was known for his inclusive style managing the symposium planning meetings as well as his enthusiasm eliciting audience questions and answers throughout the event. He is also widely remembered for his lively evening soirees!


Anyone working to achieve sustainability in aviation - they can be airport staff, an aerospace engineer, government official, elected official, legal specialist, environmentalist,  airline employee, academic researcher,  even a community member near an airport - who has worked to advance technology and improve communications between stakeholders.

We are looking for someone who has made a valuable contribution to the field of aviation noise and emissions mitigation: been a leader, innovator or key strategist who has improved our understanding of the science underpinning the field, advanced the technology, crafted better policy, drafted fairer regulations, worked to improve communications, provided legal interpretations, refined procedures, or inspired others to do all the above. Recipients have also included leaders from the symposium.

Past Recipients

2006     Walt Gillfillan, founder of the symposium

2007     Mayor Arlene Mulder, Arlington Heights Illinois, ONCC

2008     Dave Southgate, Dept. of Transport & Regional Services, Australia

2009     Neal Phillips, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

2010     Mary Ellen Eagan, HMMH Inc.

2011     The FAA Department of Environment & Energy

2012     Anne Kohut, Airport Noise Report & Aviation Emissions Report

2013     Mary Vigilante, Synergy Consultants, Inc.

2014     Dan Frazee, San Diego International Airport

2015    Jim Crites and Sandy Lancaster, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

2016    Sanford Fidell, Fidell Associates and Armando Tovar, Raleigh Durham Airport 

2017    Dave Carbone, LGN Aviation Policy Group and Mike Kenney, KB Environmental Sciences, Inc

2018    Lourdes Maurice, Consultant and Scott Tatro, Los Angeles World Airport

Thank you!