Top aviation industry officials paid tribute to Jane Garvey, and two former US Presidents sent letters of congratulations, as the former FAA administrator received the 2017 L. Welch Pogue Award Thursday for lifetime achievement in aviation.

The dinner, jointly hosted by Aviation Week & Space Technology and the International Aviation Club, was held at the Jones Day building in Washington DC Sept. 8.

Garvey was the 14th FAA administrator, the first woman to lead the agency and the first to serve a full five-year term. She served under Democrat and Republican presidents—first Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush. Letters of congratulations and appreciation for her service from each of the presidents were read during the award ceremony.

Current FAA administrator Michael Huerta and US Congressman Richard Neal each delivered remarks at the podium praising Garvey, while video tributes were made by United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and other aviation executives.

Huerta described Garvey as a “colleague, friend and incredible mentor” who had been “a steady hand in the dark days after 9/11.”

Garvey is noted for her collaborative approach and ability to bring together all stakeholders.

In her acceptance remarks, the former administrator said it was “an incredible privilege” to be called for public service and she praised the commercial air transport industry for allowing more people to travel farther, more often and more safely than ever before. That is a “remarkable achievement no less important than those achieved by aviation pioneers such as the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh, she said.

“At its core, the enterprise story of aviation is its people. All the progress that we have made in this industry has come from one source—the spirit of community,” Garvey said.

The Pogue Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award was first awarded to Pogue in 1994. A former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), he was instrumental in creating the modern civil aviation system, including the Chicago Convention agreement. Other recipients include American Airlines chairman and CEO Bob Crandall, NTSB vice chairman Bob Francis, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Herb Kelleher, CAB chairman Alfred Kahn and US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.