Tom Norton joined Helinet’s Board of Advisors in 2016 and assumed the role of President in September 2021. In this role, he is the accountable official responsible for all operations and strategy to ensure company goals are met.
Tom started his aviation career in the U.S. Marine Corps as Power Plant Mechanic, Quality Assurance Inspector, and Flight Engineer in 1977. In 1984 he became a U.S. Army Aviator/UH-60 Instructor Pilot, followed by a twenty-year (1990 -2010) career in various operational and leadership positions with legacy U.S. Customs Service and DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO.) He flew countless counter-drug and task force missions in the United States and Central & South America supporting source, transit, and arrival zone operations. Tom held numerous leadership positions at the CBP National Aviation Center including flight standards, budget, personnel management (HR), training, maintenance, acquisition, & strategic planning. Midway through his career he assumed the position of Director, National Marine Center, responsible for asset acquisition, training, and sustainment of all CBP maritime operations. Following his CBP career, Tom became a special advisor to the CBP AMO Director, Logistics and Maintenance, advising on strategy, planning, and execution of a $1 billion sustainment contract for 350+ aircraft in over 50 locations. Most recently, Tom completed his 8-year career with FLIR Systems, Inc., as Director, Business Development - Federal and Airborne Law Enforcement followed by Corporate VP Global Customer Support (GCS) for worldwide service and training operations.
Additional career achievements include leading the first U.S. Olympic (1996 Atlanta Olympics) Airspace Security program by developing program-wide operating policy, tactics, and procedures. He then led the first airspace security program supporting the U.S Secret Service with Presidential security. Tom has received numerous awards for leadership, meritorious service, superior achievement, and exceptional performance. Most noteworthy: 2nd Infantry Division Leader of the Year Award; Meritorious Unit Citation; Special Operations Medal, Overseas Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, CBP Commissioners’ Leader of the Year Award, and CBP Top Unit Citation Award (NMC).
Tom holds numerous aviation qualifications and ratings. ATP Airplane - Multi-Engine Land, ATP - Rotorcraft Helicopter, Certified Flight Instructor - Multi-Engine Land and Rotorcraft Helicopter. Type Ratings and Qualifications: C-550, BA-3100, B-200, SK-76, L-1329, SK-70, S-76, AS-350, PA-23, PA-28, PA-31, and C-404 aircraft. He has accumulated more than 9,000 incident/accident-free flight hours.