Pilar Vera Palmés received the first Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Humanitarian Award on 7th November 2022, during the 75th International Air Safety Summit, held by Flight Safety Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.
The story of the Award
Laura Taber Barbour was aboard a Pennsylvania Central Airlines DC-3 which crashed into the rugged terrain of Cheat Mountain. All on board perished.
Laura Taber Barbour was the beloved wife of the Reverend Dr. Clifford E. Barbour and the adoring mother to her only child, Cliff. Both Dr. Barbour and Laura, a hand in hand, were active in serving the needs of the community. The Accident Investigation Report released by The Civil Aeronautics Board in March of 1946, concluded the accident was caused by pilot error influenced by diminished weather conditions, a continually lowering ceiling, and below minimum standards for the planned Morgantown landing.
In the years following, an award was established in Laura’s memory by Dr. Barbour and his son, Cliff. The Flight Safety Foundation graciously agreed to administer the Award. Since 1956, the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award recognizes and celebrates original and remarkable worldwide contributions in the field of aviation safety, be it civil or military, in method, design, invention, study, or another advancement.
The next is the text issued to Foundation’s website.
Pilar Vera Palmés
For her extraordinary international humanitarian efforts in support of the victims of aviation accidents and their families over the last decade.
Following the tragic loss of a loved one on Flight JK5022 in 2008, Pilar Palmes turned her grief into advocacy for the rights of surviving passengers and that of the families of those lost. In 2010 she became President of the Association of Affected of Flight JK5022, expanding her scope. In 2015 she created the Air Crash Victims Families Federation International (ACVFFI), an international organization composed of ten victims associations from different international accidents. ACVFFI is now recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as THE singular voice for victims and their families.
Through these mechanisms and her personal efforts, Pilar Palmes was instrumental in the development of the first ICAO Policy on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and their Families, and later the official ICAO Manual on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and their Families, requiring States to provide specific support. Efforts continue to make this an internationally required standard of care.
Working tirelessly, purely as a volunteer, Pilar Palmes (through ACVFFI) brokered a partnership between the Spanish government and ICAO to host an international symposium designed to bring recognition to this important subject. That symposium, attended by hundreds from around the world resulted in 30 key recommendations which are being presented to ICAO for future work.
This year, at ACVFFI’s urging, ICAO developed its first training course on the Assistance to Accident Victims Families, which will be taught internationally, the culmination of a decade of effort.
Pilar Palmes is a force of nature, and she has made a difference in the lives of those affected by aviation disasters. Our Foundation believes this honor is long overdue and is pleased to present this Extraordinary Humanitarian Award to Madam Palmes.
Formal sitting for the award
Ms. Nancy Graham, Chair of the Laura Taber Barbour Foundation introduced Pilar Vera Palmés and her extraordinary work. Then, Ms. Claudia Carrasco, President of ACHIVAAF, read a grateful word on behalf of Pilar.
The next video has part of Nancy’s speech and Pilar’s speech.