Over the last two decades, enormous effort has been focused on developing virus-based gene delivery vectors to target the respiratory airway epithelium as a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. However, amongst other problems, the efficiency of gene delivery to the differentiated airway epithelial cells of the lung has been too low for clinical benefit. Although not a target for CF therapy, the nasal epithelium exhibits cellular morphology and composition similar to that of the lower airways, thus representing an accessible and relevant tissue target for evaluating novel and improved gene delivery vectors. We previously reported that replication-competent human parainfluenza virus (PIV)-based vectors efficiently deliver the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene to sufficient numbers of cultured CF airway epithelial cells to completely correct the bioelectric function of CF cells to normal levels, resulting in restoration of mucus transport. Here, using an in vitro model of rhesus airway epithelium, we demonstrate that PIV mediates efficient gene transfer in rhesus epithelium as in the human counterpart. Naive rhesus macaques were inoculated intranasally with a PIV vector expressing rhesus macaque α-fetoprotein (rhAFP), and expression was monitored longitudinally. rhAFP was detected in nasal lavage fluid and in serum samples, indicating that PIV-mediated gene transfer was effective and that rhAFP was secreted into both mucosal and serosal compartments. Although expression was transient, lasting up to 10 days, it paralleled virus replication, suggesting that as PIV was cleared, rhAFP expression was lost. No adverse reactions or signs of discomfort were noted, and only mild, transient elevations of a small number of inflammatory cytokines were measured at the peak of virus replication. In summary, rhAFP proved suitable for monitoring in vivo gene delivery over time, and PIV vectors appear to be promising airway-specific gene transfer vehicles that warrant further development.