On 19 September, Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) of Canada, and Mike Atwood of US-based Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) were recognised at NightCon 2013, the civilian night vision imaging systems (NVIS) conference, for their contributions to the night vision industry.
The Night Vision Awards presented the Mark of Excellence Award to STARS at NightCon 2013 in Dallas, Texas, US, in front of an audience of night vision industry providers, operators and regulators. The Mark of Excellence Award recognises a unit or company that signifies dedication to quality and excellence in its operation.
During the conference, Transport Canada inspector of flight standards Stephane Demers, who joined the group via a video link to discuss NVIS in Canada, spoke about STARS and why the group deserves the Mark of Excellence. In his nomination form, Demers said: “STARS has insisted on a programme that mimics military precision and discipline in the usage of NVG [night vision goggles]. Their systematic and precise approach has made their programme, and influenced several other operators, to conduct some of the safest NVG operations anywhere in the world.”
Representatives from Night Vision Award sponsors ASU, Night Flight Concepts (NFC), Vertical Magazine and Rotorcraft Pro Media Network presented the award to Greg Curtis from STARS.
Also at the show, ASU CEO Mike Atwood was given the NightCon Lifetime Achievement Award. Atwood was nominated by members of the Night Vision Advisory Council for his contributions to the development and advancement of NVG use in civil operations.
ASU president Jim Winkel said that Atwood deserved to be recognised for having pioneered the use of NVGs in the civilian world in North America and around the world.