Hilton Head Island, SC – July 2016 — Baldwin Aviation, the world’s leading provider of flexible and scalable safety management and operational efficiency systems for commercial and non-commercial aviation, ground, UAS, airport and FBO/MRO applications, has named Sonnie Bates as Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.
“Sonnie will be responsible for the overall operations of Baldwin,” Don Baldwin, President/CEO commented. “He will oversee all safety programs and technology development and will be providing leadership for the company’s aggressive growth plans in an ever-changing industry. We are honored to have him join our team,” Mr. Baldwin added.
In addition, Mr. Bates will lead, direct, and build upon program firsts such as the Safety Co-Op™ and ASAP/ASIAS programs, and further identify and implement industry-leading programs in support of all Baldwin’s present and future clients.
An experienced and well-respected aviation professional, Mr. Bates most recently served as Program Director at the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) for the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO).
Beginning in 1986, he began an impressive military career that included numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Air Force. He commanded the 71st Flying Training Detachment at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana and also served as aircraft commander in the C-5 Galaxy, the largest strategic airlift aircraft in the U.S. military’s inventory. While heading the largest airfreight operation in the U.S. Air Force, he led the implementation of Quality Management principles. At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, acting as System Safety Program Manager, he guided program and operational procedure improvements.
Following his notable service in the Air Force, Mr. Bates began his career in business aviation as a Captain on various long-range aircraft and advanced quality and safety initiatives as Manager of Standards, Safety, and Security. He then accepted a key position with CAE to develop the pilot training program for the Falcon 7X business jet, working closely with leaders from Dassault, CAE, and aviation regulatory agencies in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. to deliver the 7X pilot training program before aircraft certification - a first for the business aviation industry. After winning approval from both the JAA and FAA for this flagship program, he was promoted to CAE’s Program Manager for Dassault Falcon products.
Mr. Bates holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Northern Kentucky University, a Master of Science degree in Business Management from Minot State University and is recognized by the National Business Aviation Association as a Certified Aviation Manager. He is a member of the NBAA Business Aviation Management Committee.