The Award of Honour

Awarded for an outstanding and enduring contribution to aviation.


2020 awarded to:  Greg McDougall


Greg McDougall founded Harbour Air 37 years ago, building it from 2 De Havilland Beavers, to today, over 40 aircraft, flying over 30,000 flights per year, including DHC-2 Beavers, DHC-3T Turbine Single Otter, DHC6 Twin Otter and Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

Award Of Honour Greg McDougallAlways an innovator and with his eyes set on taking aviation into world where environmental and economic goals mattered, he committed to making his airline the first carbon neutral airline in North America, which he achieved in 2007. As the advent of the electric engines were proven viable, McDougall teamed with magniX, a Washington State Company and retrofitted a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver and converted its engine to a 750-horsepower all-electric motor. In less than 10 months, the team created the blueprint, built the ePlane and successfully flew it on the 10 December 2019, with McDougall at the controls. The aircraft is currently undergoing the certification and approval process with the FAA and Transport Canada. Over the next one to two years, they will continue testing and alterations on the path to certify the aircraft for passenger flight. Harbour Air was uniquely positioned to be the leader in commercial electric flight. Due to the smaller size of their single-engine aircraft and the short average length of their routes, averaging 30 minutes or less, Harbour Air can actually utilize today’s technology. The same motor is suitable to be retrofitted on all the aircraft types they use and once all the aircraft are converted Harbour Air hopes to be the first carbon zero airline in the world.

Whilst we have all marvelled at innovation taking place in electrical power aircraft, McDougall’s leadership and determination to take a dream to reality, has been inspirational. Led by a very committed individual to lead the aviation business rather than follow it, he has demonstrated that a brilliantly led team can achieve a world first from a very modest beginning. McDougall was never content to buy eAeroplanes, he committed to develop his own fleet to achieve the aim he set to be a world leader in carbon zero operations and in doing so he ranks a one of aviation’s great innovators; an example to us all.

The historic flight demonstration on the 10th December made the world stand back that a commercial aircraft could be modified and into the certification process within 10 months.

A great leader of Canadian aviation, Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame member, and a former Cumberbatch Trophy winner, the following statement exemplifies the vision of Greg McDougall: “If we sit here looking out the window, one day there’s going to be something flying out there that’s going to rock your world, I want to be the one flying it, not the one watching it.”

For his outstanding and enduring contribution to aviation, Greg McDougall is a deserving winner of the Award of Honour


Previous winners:

1999/2000 awarded twice:
     Sir Arthur Marshall
     Sir George Edwards

2000/2001 awarded twice:
     Group Captain John Cunningham CBE
     Wing Commander Roland Prosper Beamont CBE

2002  Not Awarded

2002/03  Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO OBE DFC** AFC

2003/04 awarded twice:
     Lionel Peter Twiss OBE DSC* QCVSA
     Joseph Sutter Hon FRAeS

2004/05  Sir Michael Cobham CBE

2005/06 awarded twice:
     Neil Armstrong
     Captain Eric Brown CBE DSC AFC KCVSA MA FRAeS

2006/07 awarded twice:
     Sir Michael Knight KCB AFC
     Albert L Ueltschi

2008  Not Awarded

2009  Not Awarded

2009/10  Sir Maurice Flanagan KBE BA Hon.FRAeS FCILT

2010/11  Duncan Simpson OBE CEng FIMechE FRAeS

2011/12  Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis MBE

2012/13  Captain James Arthur Lovell USN (Retd)

2013/14  Sir Michael John Marshall CBE DL

2014/15  UK Military Search and Rescue Force

2016  Captain Robert "Hoot" Gibson DSM DFC

2017  awarded twice:
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine GCB GBE FRAeS
    John Tribe BSc(Eng)

2018  The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows

2019  Stuart King FRAeS

2020  Greg McDougall