Albert Plesman


Portrait of Albert PlesmanAlbert Plesman (1889-1953) was a Dutch aviation pioneer and founder of KLM, the world's first airline company. He was born in The Hague as the son of an egg trader. In 1915 he spent his military service in Soesterberg with the mobilized Dutch air force. There he got his military certificate for flying airplanes in 1918.


After the war he helped organizing the ELTA (First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam), held from 1 August till 15 September 1919. It attracted 800.000 visitors. The specially built hangars were used after the exhibition by Anthony Fokker for his new airplane factory in the north of Amsterdam.


Edward Warner AwardAll these activities led to the founding of KLM. Plesman became managing director and made it into a flourishing company. After the Second World War he was appointed president-director of KLM. After repairing the war damage, the company became a renowned air line under his direction.


In the Netherlands streets and schools are named after him. Every year the Albert Plesman Memorial Lecture is held at Delft Technical University. Officially Hato Airport on Curacao is named Albert Plesman Airport.


In 1959 he was awarded the first ICAO Edward Warner Award posthumously for his great achievements in civil aviation.





Information on the Edward Warner Award from the ICAO website.



Stamp catalogue


Netherlands                         23 August 1954









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last revised: 28 March 2010