Dr. William A. "Bill" Hamilton, while serving as an aide to Governor Charles Thone in 1979-1980, worked with then Aeronautics Director, Wayne Andersen, to insure the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics was maintained as a cabinet-level department. In 1989, appointed by Governor Kay Orr, Hamilton served on the Nebraska Aeronautics Commission until 1992. A private pilot since 1968, he knew that General Aviation's greatest need was weather dissemination. Consequently, he strongly supported the installation of weather-information kiosks at public airports across Nebraska. Nebraska became the national leader in accessible, free-to-the-user and on-line aviation weather systems. He served a one-year term as the chairman of the Nebraska State Airline Commission. Proud of Nebraska's award-winning Navigational Aids Division, Hamilton worked to increase its funding and expand Nebraska's ownership, installation and maintenance of a state-wide system of navigational and weather systems. Hamilton fully supported the revolving hangar-loan program and use of surplus funds for EPA/NDEQ-approved aerial-spray pads at public airports.
In 1991, inspired by North Dakota's Upper Mid-West Aviation Symposium, Hamilton worked with the charter members to establish the Nebraska Aviation Council and Symposium. He remained a faithful attendee, speaker and contributor at annual conferences.
In 1987, Bill became Regional Representative for AOPA. For the next 24 years, Hamilton defended General Aviation in as many as seven states, working with state and local officials to defend airports against residential housing encroachment or closure and with state legislatures to improve state funding for airports. It was his mission to defend against legislation harmful to General Aviation.
For a quarter-century, Hamilton served as a featured commentator for USA Today, writing for the editorial pages. His nationally syndicated column "Central View," still appears in print and on-line. In 2014, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Among Hamilton's military honors are: the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, 20 Air Medals, four Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, Army and Air Force Commendation Medals, and the Master Parachutist Badge. Bill has been inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the University of Oklahoma Army ROTC Wall of Fame, North Dakota Aeronautics Council Outstanding Service Award and the University of Nebraska's Alumni Achievement Award. Bill co-holds a World Aviation Speed Record with wife Penny.
Hamilton received his education at the University of Oklahoma, the Army Language School, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska (Ph.D.), and Harvard University.
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