ORLANDO — On Nov. 1, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) wrapped up the third and final day of its 65th Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012), which President and CEO Ed Bolen termed “a very good show.”
“Attendees and exhibitors at this year’s show have told us that it was a very strong event, despite its timing alongside Hurricane Sandy’s landfall on the East Coast, and a temporary flight restriction for the Orlando area late on Sunday evening and Monday morning before the show,” Bolen said. “We’re delighted that, especially given those challenges, convention participants reported strong traffic on the exhibit floor and at the aircraft static displays, along with a high level of enthusiasm among attendees.”
Bolen pointed to several figures illustrating the strength of this year’s convention:
- The show closed with 25,150 people in attendance, a number comparable to the final total of 26,077 for the 2011 convention, and to the final attendee total of 24,206 for the 2010 event.
- The number of exhibitors at the Orange County Convention Center was 1,073; booth spaces totaled 4,361, an increase over last year’s booth-space total.
- A total of 105 aircraft were shown on two separate static displays, and an additional four aircraft were shown inside the convention center.
- The show drew attendees from all 50 U.S. states and 87 countries.
“By every measure, the 2012 show was a solid success,” Bolen said. “It’s also clear that, when you look beyond the numbers, the convention delivered a lot of value to participants.”
Bolen pointed to several examples, including:
- Standing-room only general sessions that opened the show’s first two days, featuring celebrated legends in aviation, leaders in government, noteworthy figures in politics and media, and others.
- A full roster of education sessions held throughout the week, many of which focused on emerging trends, including the use of iPads in aircraft cockpits, and developments related to business aviation in Asia.
- A Light Business Airplane Conference, with sessions specifically tailored to entrepreneurs and companies using light business airplanes, accompanied by a Single-Pilot Safety Standdown focused on business aviators.
- A Career Day featuring keynote speaker Barrington Irving – the youngest person and first African American pilot to fly solo around the world – who inspired young people to identify and pursue their dreams through aviation.
- A benefit event that raised $371,000 to support the Corporate Angel Network’s mission to provide transport for cancer patients to treatment centers aboard business aircraft.
- A welcome new study, commissioned by NBAA, which concludes that more companies began using business aviation during the “Great Recession” than did so beforehand, and that companies using a business airplane were better inoculated from the recession’s impact than similar companies that did not use business aviation.
- The support shown by Convention participants for a continued advocacy focus, including an ongoing commitment to defeat proposals for implementing per-flight user fees for general aviation.
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 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at NBAA.org.