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Kay Award: David Powell

July 01, 2022

Kay Award: David Powell

Established and sponsored by the Korean Aerospace Medical Association in honor of Won Chuel Kay, M.D., the former Surgeon General of the Korean Air Force, founder and first Medical Director of Korean Airlines and first President of the Korean Aerospace Medical Association. This Award is presented annually to a member who has made outstanding contributions to international aerospace medicine.

A white man is shown wearing glasses, a white and light grey pinstriped shirt, and black jacket against a medium blue background with IATA's logo.David Powell, M.D., M.Sc., FAsMA, was the 2022 recipient of the Won Chuel Kay Award for his contributions to international aerospace medicine. He has contributed enormously to the science of fatigue management and has played a pivotal role in the aerospace community by sharing knowledge and best practices to airlines around the world. As medical advisor for IATA, he has increased the reach of his contributions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. His background blends academic contributions with practical airline medicine; he was faculty at the Occupational and Aviation Medicine Unit at the University of Otago and was also medical director for both Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. He is an active member of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s CAPSCA and CASAG in charge of reviewing scientific evidence emerging from COVID-19.
   native of New Zealand, Dr. Powell earned an M.B.Ch.B. at the University of Auckland in 1986. He holds Diplomas in Aviation Medicine from Otago University and the Royal College Physicians London and a Diploma in Occupational Medicine from the University of Auckland. He is a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
   From 1985-1987, Dr. Powell served as House Officer in Medicine, Orthopaedics, Emergency, Surgery, and Anaesthetics for the Waikato Hospital Board and was in general practice. At the end of 1987 he became the Medical Officer for Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Auckland in the Defence Environmental Medicine Unit. In 1991 he took a position as Anaesthetics Registrar for the Auckland Area Health Board at Auckland/Middlemore Hospitals and was also in general practice. In 1993 he became Officer Commanding the Aviation Medicine Unit for the RNZAF. He was responsible for providing altitude chamber and aviation medicine training, and was an adviser to commanders in aviation medical matters. In 1995 and part-time in 1996, he also was Emergency Department Registrar at Auckland Hospital and a part-time Medical Officer at a Travellers Health and Vaccination Center. From late 1996 to 1997, he was Medical Officer for Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust and then, in 1997, he became Chief Medical Officer at Air New Zealand Limited. In that capacity he was the primary physician responsible for occupational health aspects for pilots, as well as other crewmembers and ground staff. During this period he continued his activity in aviation medicine training and education for the pilot population. He chaired the Crew Alertness Study Group.
   From 2009-2013, Dr. Powell also was a part-time Aviation Medicine Specialist and a part-time private consultant in aviation medicine and airline fatigue management. He expanded his reach internationally, becoming a contributor to ICAO’s Task Force on Fatigue Risk Management, as well as an Advisory Board Member for U.S. “HIMS” Alcohol Rehabilitation Program for U.S. Pilots. An AsMA Fellow, he is a past president of the International Airline Medical Association. He is a member of the Australia and NZ Society of Occupational Medicine, a Past President of the Aviation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine and the Royal Aeronautical Society, an elected member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, and an invited member of the International Air Transport Association Medical Advisor Group. His awards include the President’s Prize for the top student in Diploma in Aviation Medicine, a Technical Cooperation Programme Achievement Award from the Subcommittee on Non-Atomic Military Research and Development, the Arnold Tuttle and Boothby-Edwards Awards from AsMA, the George Kidera Award from the Airlines Medical Directors Association, and a Masters Award for the New Zealand Region from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.