The National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) 2014 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014) concluded Friday in Orlando, FL, and the event organizers report that, by all indications, the show was a success for attendees and exhibitors alike.
“This year’s show was an enormous success, filled with announcements and product introductions,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The exhibit floor and aircraft displays had lots of activity and excitement. The education sessions were informative and well attended. The event once again showcased the industry’s size, diversity and significance. Perhaps most important, the show provided many reminders that ours is an industry characterized by passion and professionalism.”
NBAA2014, which took place from Oct. 21 to 23, featured about 1,100 exhibitors in the Orange County Convention Center. Additionally, more than 100 aircraft were displayed in several locations – at a sold-out static display at Orlando Executive Airport, at an indoor display inside the convention center and at various exhibitor booths on the show floor. More than 26,000 people attended the show, which included representatives from 49 U.S. states and 95 countries around the world.
Along with the numbers demonstrating the strength of this year’s show, Bolen cited several other examples of the convention’s enduring value:
A crowded Opening General Session, which kicked off the show, featured leaders from government and business. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-9-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was joined by Chris Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and Andrew Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings and a long-time business aviation champion who has participated in NBAA’s industry-advocacy initiatives. Also at the session, International Jet Aviation Services received NBAA’s 2014 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership for its work, through Make-A-Wish America, to use business aviation to help kids’ dreams take flight.
A standing-room-only, second-day Opening Session featured aviation leaders and legends. The session included a welcome from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a general aviation supporter and senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Nelson was joined by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D), who announced the launch of the Delaware Business Aviation Association, and U.S. Air Force Major Gen. (ret.) Edward Bolton, assistant administrator for NextGen at the FAA, who discussed the newly unveiled NextGen implementation roadmap. At this session, NBAA presented the Association’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award to aviation icon Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, and then heard election predictions from famed political couple Mary Matalin and James Carville.
A new advocacy initiative – announced by Bolen during the convention’s Media Kickoff Breakfast – was unveiled, called “Business Leaders on Business Aviation.” The initiative highlights testimonials from dozens of CEOs on the value of business aviation to their companies, and builds on similar testimonials from 10 CEOs, introduced at NBAA2013, called the “Top Ten.” This year’s CEOs were featured prominently at NBAA2014 signage displayed throughout the event’s exhibit halls, meeting areas and static aircraft displays, as well as in advertisements appearing in daily show publications.
A full roster of education sessions was held throughout the week, including two packed sessions on the emergence of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (and NBAA’s work to represent business aviation on this issue), as well as a session on considerations for the industry regarding international travel and the Ebola virus. The two sessions were held in NBAA’s newly introduced “Innovation Zone,” located immediately adjacent to the association’s booth on the exhibit floor.
A young professionals networking event, on Oct. 21, and a Careers in Business Aviation Day, on Oct. 23, were held, as a means to help bring the next generation of leaders into the industry, and incentivize them to make business aviation a professional career choice. Learn more about NBAA’s young professionals event, and the association’s Careers in Business Aviation Day.
A successful charitable benefit event, co-hosted by NBAA and Corporate Angel Network, raised nearly $400,000 in support of CAN’s mission to provide life-saving flights to take cancer patients to treatment centers aboard business aircraft.
“Clearly, in a host of ways, NBAA’s 2014 convention is one for the record books,” Bolen said. “We are thrilled by the enthusiasm that marked each of the show’s three days, and we are already making plans for next year’s convention in Las Vegas, NV, from Nov. 17 to 19, 2015.”
# # #
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
Source: www.nbaa.org; October 23, 2014.