The second outdoor static display that was “just a few steps away from the convention center” at last year’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas was so widely praised by both exhibitors and attendees that NBAA is doing it again at this year’s show, which will be held late next month in Orlando, Fla. In addition, the main static display (hosted by Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Executive Airport) will have more square footage than it did when the convention was last held in Orlando two years ago.
According to NBAA static display director Joe Hart, the additional static area at this year’s show will encompass up to 50,000 sq ft in a parking lot adjacent to the North Hall at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. Aircraft being displayed at the second static area will fly into Orlando International Airport and then be towed at night some 8.5 miles down the Beachline Expressway to the convention center.
While the roads on the route are wider than those on the way to last year’s convention, their size will still limit aircraft at the second display to light jets, turboprops and pistons. At press time there were eight confirmed aircraft for the second static area, though discussions with several aircraft manufacturers, including Cirrus Aircraft, are ongoing, Hart said. There were 11 aircraft at the extra display last year, and NBAA believes it will exceed that number this year.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Transportation is rebuilding and expanding Orlando Executive’s north ramp, which is used by Showalter Flying Service, to an open area of about 25 acres. All 25 acres of what will be used for the NBAA static display will be resurfaced. The $1.1 million project will repair damage sustained eight years ago during Hurricane Charley. “It destroyed several [of our] buildings, but the foundations remained. So did the grass between where those buildings once stood,” said Showalter president Kim Showalter. “We wanted to make that space usable.”
Work to remove the remnants of the destroyed facilities and repave the area as additional ramp space started in early July. The expansion will be completed by the end of this month, according to an August 15 construction progress report, and NBAA has already allocated the space to static display exhibitors.