John Winant, 85, president of NBAA from 1971 to 1986 and a “critical player in the evolution of business aviation,” died Tuesday at his home in Williamstown, Mass. “It would be difficult to overstate the importance of John Winant in the development of business aviation in the U.S. and around the world,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
National Business Aviation Association
For the first time in several years the unabashed exuberance that has prevailed at the annual NBAA Convention was replaced by concerns– if not outright fear–that business aviation’s rapid rate of climb is now nosing over into a descent that will likely be felt beginning in 2010 or 2011 and last for at least two years.
At the NBAA media breakfast, held last month at the NBAA Convention, Alan Klapmeier, GAMA chairman (and president and CEO of Cirrus), noted that the credit crunch is a problem for the general economy and for some aircraft sales, but said that productivity is the key to turning the economy around. Adding productivity is what business aviation does best, he said.
The NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., which concluded yesterday, attracted 30,811 attendees, just shy of the 30,963 people at the event last year in Atlanta. It was a “solid turnout” given all the circumstances, in the opinion of association president and CEO Ed Bolen. “This year's show comes amid spikes in the cost of fuel, tightening credit markets and a challenging economy.
Ten days after the Dow dropped 787 points in a week, one month from the presidential election, five months before extension of the FAA’s funding expires again and 14 months until a scheduled game-changing UN meeting on the environment, the 61st NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention opened yesterday with the business aviation industry booming, but with attendees looking over their shoulders as they wait apprehensively for the boom to fall.
As the stock market plunged in the backdrop, the 61st NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention opened today in Orlando, Fla., with the business aviation industry booming, but with attendees looking over their shoulders as they wait apprehensively for the boom to fall. The news is not all bad; industry forecasts predict a record number of deliveries this year and maybe even next year, with a slight trough expected in 2010.
Against the backdrop of a building economic crisis, a presidential race in which neither side seems particularly friendly toward business aviation and a vocal onslaught against “fat cat private jet polluters” from the airline and environmental lobbies, the NBAA Convention arrives in Orlando facing a range of difficult issues even as the industry’s overall health appears as strong as ever.
After more than 40 years operating business aircraft, Bristol-Myers Squibb is shutting down its Trenton, N.J.-based flight department. The company will sell its two Gulfstream Vs and Sikorsky S76Cs and terminate employment of 32 pilots, mechanics and department personnel. “Bristol-Myers is one of the founders of the NBAA,” said Christopher Griffin, v-p for aviation.
In the mid-1980s, NBAA’s annual conventions were drawing about 70 aircraft on the static display line. At last month’s New York-area NBAA regional business aviation forum and static display at Farmingdale, Long Island, there were 41 business aircraft on the ramp, spreading out and filling a closed runway for the one-day event.
NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) have denounced a report on private jet travel and the general aviation industry issued by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Essential Action (EA), two left-leaning Washington think tanks. In short, the report echoes the airline industry’s claim that GA does not pay its fair share of ATC costs and is the cause of airport congestion.