For many attendees at NBAA’s annual convention and exhibition, the static display remains the highlight, a showcase where airframers and aircraft brokers alike can present their finest aircraft. But while showgoers prowl the Orlando Executive Airport ramp this week, few will take into account the vast amount of logistics that goes into the precision marshaling of all those aircraft, as well as providing the support for them during the show.
Orlando Executive Airport
Business aviation is on its way to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., to join colleagues, vendors, manufacturers and friends at the annual NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition. Pre-show events begin this weekend and the exhibit halls open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, immediately following the opening-day general session at 8:30 a.m. in the south hall.
At last year’s NBAA show, whatever good news could be unearthed about business aviation was dampened by the dismal impact of the government sequestration, effects of which are still evident. While the political machinations emanating from Washington, D.C., this year seem to have abated somewhat, there is still a threat of a government shutdown, but so far, at least, there have been no big eruptions of user fee proposals to mar this year’s show. Attacks on business aviation seem to have abated, too, perhaps because the government has more important items on its agenda.
While not a record, attendee registration was strong for the 2012 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., which concluded today. At the end of yesterday, there were 24,748 visitors registered, down slightly from last year’s day two tally of 25,861, but up from the 23,831 registered in 2010.
About 25,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors are expected at the 65th annual NBAA Convention, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday next week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. As one of the largest trade shows in the U.S., the business aviation convention is projected to have an economic impact of more than $51 million to the Orlando area, according to the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
NBAA’s 65th Annual Meeting and Convention comes a little later than normal this year, October 30 through November 1. The main event takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. And like last year’s event, this year’s will feature two static displays, the regular large gathering at Orlando Executive Airport, hosted by Showalter Flying Service, and a smaller on-site display next to the convention center.
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.
The main static display for this year’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., will have more square footage than when the convention was last held there two years ago. Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Executive Airport will be the host FBO of the main static display at NBAA 2012.
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. The $1.1 million project will finally repair damage sustained eight years ago during Hurricane Charley.
With Orlando rapidly becoming the NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention’s unofficial home, the area is banking on the event–currently ranked as the nation’s fifth largest tradeshow–to provide a boost to the local economy.
Orlando, Fla. is becoming a major hub and resource center for corporate aviation, and for good reason. Beyond Wichita, the greater Orlando area has one of the highest concentrations of corporate aircraft crew initial and recurrent training centers and aircraft maintenance facilities. Overall, it has one of the denser concentrations of top-notch FBOs in the continental U.S.
- Page 1