The NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Orlando, FL, drew to a close on Thursday (3rd November) and event organizers reported that the show was a success, by a host of measures.
“At the convention center and the airport alike, exhibitors and attendees have told us that this year’s NBAA-BACE was a resounding success,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The activity level was high, and the enthusiasm was strong. Equally important, the show provided a reminder of the industry’s size and significance in the U.S., and around the world.”
The exhibition floor featured an indoor static display.
As always, Bolen noted, the convention featured a number of press events, well-attended education sessions and high-profile speakers, several of whom paid tribute to industry legends Bob Hoover and Arnold Palmer, in whose memory the event was dedicated.
Bolen pointed to several additional noteworthy attributes to this year’s convention, which were likewise illustrative of its success:
The sold-out static display of aircraft featured 114 aircraft at Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) and the largest-ever indoor static display at the convention center, showcasing nine fixed-wing airplanes and six helicopters.
The show’s Opening General Session on Nov. 1 drew a standing-room-only crowd for a salute to Palmer, a longtime industry champion. The session also featured remarks from industry champion Rep. Rep. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. Attendees also got to hear “Wright Brothers” author David McCullough share lessons in leadership from the aviation pioneers.
The sold-out static display of aircraft featured 114 aircraft at Orlando Executive Airport.
A well-attended Second Day General Session opened with a moving tribute to Hoover, an aviation hero and renowned air show performer. The session also included remarks from Rep. Bill Flores (R-17-TX) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who was presented with NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award. Authors and political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin also provided insights into the upcoming presidential election.
Top-level government policymakers, led by FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan, participated in a Meet the Regulators session to discuss policy issues affecting business aviation, such as the agency’s new compliance philosophy and ADS-B equipage.
NBAA’s held both its Single-Pilot Safety Standdown, with a focus on single-pilot risk management, and second annual National Safety Forum, featuring remarks from the FAA’s Gilligan and NTSB Chairman Chris Hart and NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt. In collaboration with the NTSB, a ficticious business aviation accident scenario was presented and discussed.
NBAA unveiled new No Plane No Gain advocacy tools at the Media Kickoff Breakfast, including a #BizAvWorks social media campaign and an updated Business Leaders on Business Aviation booklet, with testimonials from 10 new CEOs on how their companies rely on business aviation.
BlueSky’s Paula Kraft is photographed during an education session at NBAA-BACE. Paula is founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering and founder of DaVinci Inflight Training Institute – a cabin crew training facility in Ft. Lauderdale.
All three days were packed with well-attended education sessions, including several held at NBAA’s Innovation Zone, in which experts discussed lithium-battery concerns for aviators, considerations related to the emergence of drones, and other timely topics.
More students than ever attended this year’s show, with about 1,100 individuals participating in Careers in Business Aviation Day on Nov. 3, which included a packed College Roundtable Seminar, where more than 200 students engaged with industry leaders.
The convention also featured Young Professionals, or “YoPro” networking opportunities and education sessions designed specifically for young people in the industry.
An annual charity benefit co-hosted by NBAA and the Corporate Angel Network (CAN) raised more than $450,000 for CAN’s longstanding mission to provide cancer patients with free air travel to specialized treatment.
“By all these and other measures, NBAA-BACE was an outstanding show, which showcased the vitality and innovation that characterize our industry,” said Bolen. “As the event’s final day draws to a close, we are already making plans for next year’s convention in Las Vegas, NV, from Oct. 10-12, 2017.”