If the drop in the number of attendees at last year’s annual NBAA Flight Attendant Conference was a result of economic uncertainty, then perhaps the increase in attendees this year suggests a market recovery. Few would be willing to publicly embrace such a notion, but the fact remains that the 197 attendees at this year’s conference in Philadelphia was a healthy increase over the 149 who turned the stiles last year in Nashville, Tenn.
Gulfstream, which has been engaged in a dispute with the FAA over whether its new Gulfstream 550 could be certified with the traditional four elliptical window emergency exits, has now apparently satisfied the agency’s concerns in the form of a requirement for “an evacuation crewmember” on all flights carrying 10 or more passengers.
Turbulent economic times are challenging for a firm that places pilots, flight department managers, flight attendants, schedulers/dispatchers, maintenance technicians and other aviation professionals. Founded by two pilots in 1983, Jet Professionals Inc. (JPI) is now located at Jet Aviation’s Teterboro, N.J. facility after nearly two decades at its original Shelton, Conn. location.
Air Security International (Booth No. 2636) has been in the business of aviation security for 12 years, and according to ASI president Israel “Issy” Boim, globalization, combined with the threat of terrorism and other threats, has made his company’s services more vital than ever.
Last year, Karin Tennstedt was just one of a number of entrepreneurs launching a new business at NBAA; as she put it, “wandering the halls with a net and looking for customers.”
This year, the president of Mach 1 Design and former corporate flight attendant is the head of a successful turnkey completion management company.
It was premeditated mass murder, almost flawlessly executed, and civil aircraft were the weapons of choice. A civil airplane was also the battlefield for the first retaliatory strike, when the passengers of a United 757 most likely aimed at a Washington landmark took matters into their own hands and fought back, causing the Boeing to fall short of its intended target.
Some two months after first airing concerns over what it called insufficient training of flight attendants for cabin security searches, the Association of Flight Attendants last month intensified its crusade to sway public opinion against six regional airlines it accused of skirting new security mandates. The AFA named Air Wisconsin, PSA, Piedmont, Allegheny, Atlantic Southeast and Atlantic Coast Airlines as the primary culprits.
Independent pilots have been joined by flight attendants and mechanics in the newly renamed Independent Contract Aviation Professionals of America association (ICAPAmerica). The organization, which grew out of an online forum for independent contract pilots, held a breakfast get-together in Orlando, Fla., on the last day of this fall’s NBAA Convention.
Where will we find tomorrow’s pilots? The military, long a provider of trained aviators, hasn’t produced sufficient numbers to satisfy the civil aviation demand for quite some time. It is the collegiate and private-academy flight-training programs that have taken up the slack and will continue to be the primary provider of pilots indefinitely.
When UAL Corp. announced earlier this year the creation of United BizJet Holdings, and that the new stand-alone enterprise would include a fractional-ownership program, some in the industry considered this a plain and simple “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” strategy.