As the annual NBAA Convention gets ever larger, so too grows the perception that the event tends to focus on and attract operators of larger business aircraft. This perception is driven perhaps partially by the high number of association committee and board volunteers who hail from large aircraft operators.
To address the needs of the association’s majority of members–60 percent, or about 8,000 members– that have a single-aircraft flight department, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen announced last month at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., a new three-day industry event dedicated to operators who use “light airplanes” for business travel. Some observers have questioned the wisdom of labeling the operator of a lone King Air 350 or VLJ as a “light airplane” operator.
Joining Bolen at the press conference was NBAA member Paul Stafford, a real-estate broker in Montana and Piper Malibu Mirage owner-pilot who said he is happy that the association will now have a show that focuses on members like him.
The Light Airplane Conference & Exhibition (LAC&E), which will be geared for “business owners and other operators of light jets, turboprops and piston airplanes,” is scheduled to be held March 12 to 14, 2009, in San Diego.
The inaugural event’s exhibit floor at the San Diego Convention Center is expected to cover approximately 1,000 exhibit booth spaces, and the static display will feature up to 50 light aircraft.
LAC&E is expected to provide information about the latest developments and trends of specific interest to light aircraft operators, including tax planning, accounting, regulatory compliance, insurance, safety and maintenance best practices. NBAA is asking light airplane operators to submit ideas for the 25 information sessions to be presented at LAC&E by calling (800) 9-AVIATE or sending an
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.