Later this month, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) will host its annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas. Oct. 22-24, 2019, to be exact.
New this year will be the roll-out of the “Professional Member” category.
Within the Professional Member category are four sub-categories:
- Professional: “Any person with a pervasive interest in business aviation who independently contracts with the business aviation community, including contract pilots, flight attendants, maintenance personnel, and similar functions.”
- Aspiring Professional: “Recent graduates, current and former military, persons not currently employed.”
- Retired Professional: “Any person previously employed in business aviation.”
- Students: “Anyone currently enrolled in a high school, college or vocational program.”
NBAA has always been about business. It says so in its name. But this new membership category goes a step further.
“NBAA has developed a suite of member benefits for these Professional Members in an effort to help those exploring business aviation careers to establish and grow their network within the community,” said Patrick Haller, NBAA director for membership and member services. “We hope these new resources and membership options will attract a new generation to business aviation and guide them toward success.”
Historically, if you were employed by a business that serviced the business aviation industry or if your business owned and operated aircraft to further your business goals, you could join NBAA.
Without either of those connectors, you were out of luck. Effectively, Jane or John Q Pilot were outside the fence, looking in.
Smartly, NBAA has chosen to open up its membership — and, along the way, its myriad networking opportunities. That gate in the fence? Just swung wide open.
Like most things in aviation, that gate key comes with a cost. Frankly, as it should.
The Professional member will shell out $295 per year, while both Aspiring and Retired Professionals will pay $95. Students will outlay just $25. For students, $25 is a small price to pay to keep that dream front and center.
While there is no doubt many would-be pilots and maintainers seek employment in the airline industry, a good many seek the same career at a different target company.
Bravo to NBAA for inviting a whole new crop of individuals inside the fence.