As members of the Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA) gathered earlier this month in St. Augustine two things became very clear: Attendees were still waiting for the big recovery for the industry, but their enthusiasm for what they do — and for aviation — was still strong, according to Paula Raeburn, executive director, who noted, “It was a pleasant sound to hear laughter fill the trade show during the social events.”
During the conference, a new program debuted, “Beyond the Runway — Why General Aviation Means Business.” Area aviation leaders were invited to participate on a panel that focused on educating the non-aviation business leaders who attended about GA. “Our members already knew the information the panelists provided, but the visitors did not,” Raeburn said. “We wanted our members there so they could talk with the non-aviation guests. The program was well received and we now have some aviation advocates outside our industry.” Panelists included Ed Wuellner, Executive Director, Northeast Region Airport at St. Augustine; Michael Lukowski, University Air Center, Gainesville; George Robbins, Vistage Florida Group; Colonel Art May, St. Johns County Sheriffs Office; and Sgt. Jason Caban, St. Johns County Sheriffs Office. The program was moderated by Rob Mark, CommAvia. ” The board has decided to continue this program so we can share the importance of our industry with the non aviation businesses,” she said. “We need them to know that aviation is a strong economic driver in the community and that the airport brings products and services to their community.”
Next year’s conference is in Sarasota, June 13-15. For more information: FATA.aero.