If you’re gainfully employed in business aviation, odds are you vote Republican and cheerlead for robust capitalism, and that’s understandable. Nobody with a mortgage and kids to educate is inclined to bite the hand that feeds, and capitalism-created wealth is what pays the bills for all of us in this business.
Last month I stored the body armor on the top shelf of the closet for the last time, unloaded the gun and put it away, turned in my badge and gave up the donut and free coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. After 20 years as a part-time county deputy I certainly had doubts about pulling the plug–it’s a mindset, a way of life. The world is composed of sheep, wolves and sheepdogs: I’ve always been a sheepdog.
So often in the course of covering events, journalists hear statements that never make it into published accounts. Space is limited, time is limited, or the comment is peripheral to the rigid formula of news reportage—who, what, where, when and possibly, why.
Another NBAA Convention is history, and not surprisingly the association pronounced it an “outstanding success” by every yardstick. Attendance was up by 7 percent over last year, as was the number of exhibitors. A total of 101 aircraft were on display, including 85 at the sold-out static display of aircraft at Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport, five more inside the Las Vegas Convention Center and 11 additional aircraft at the first-ever outdoor static park next to the exhibition halls.
Another NBAA Convention has come and gone, opened amid optimism and closed with hope. Sometimes over the past couple of years, it seemed like there wasn’t much in between. It was a bit like a watercress sandwich. Two pieces of bread, attractively presented but with little of sustenance in the middle.
My job at this month’s NBAA show in Las Vegas was to present our AINtv webcasts. I’ve been working on AINtv since its launch in 2006 and it really is great fun—in fact, don’t tell my boss, but it’s light relief from the daily grind of churning out articles for AIN’s print and online editions.
Growing up, James Bond movies were my favorites, and high among them was The Man With the Golden Gun. I don’t remember when I first saw it, but what stuck most in my impressionable young mind was a car. No, not one of Bond’s tricked-out sports cars with ejection seats or retractable machine guns, but a rather unlikely object of male desire, an AMC Matador.
Have you ever wondered why we keep putting off for tomorrow what we can do today, particularly when it comes to the issue of, yes—I’ll say it—global warming? Quite apart from the flat-earth crowd, the people who believe the overwhelming scientific evidence tend to acknowledge a need to do something about this existential threat.
When Gulfstream Aerospace announced that it had re-designated its G250 super-midsize jet as the G280, Business Jet Traveler’s editors were already well under way with our plans to publish a Chinese version of our award-winning BJT Buyers’ Guide.
The business aviation industry, as well as the associated companies, grow when confidence is high and retract when it’s low. As the economy slogs along for the third year in a row, with matching weak confidence, the time is now for the business aircraft manufacturers to announce bold plans for new models at the 2011 NBAA Convention next week in Las Vegas.