It was a little more than a year ago when the National Aircraft Resale Association was rebranded the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) in a move to recognize and grow the more than 25-year-old organization’s global membership. But that was just the first step in what has become a nearly-year-long transformation of the group that also is focused on bringing greater credibility to its professional members and removing any ambiguity in the aircraft acquisition process.
It has done so through establishing an aircraft sales website whose listings are exclusive to its members as well as instituting an accreditation program for dealer members and certification of individual brokers employed by those dealers.
“The way some aircraft salespeople handle themselves and handle transactions, and the lack of transparency, lack of professionalism, was the driving force behind us deciding to create the accreditation and certification,” IADA executive director Wayne Starling, whose hiring was announced about a month after the rebranding, told AIN.
In February, IADA launched the AircraftExchange website, which lists preowned aircraft for sale by its dealer members. In September, the organization reported more than $1.6 billion in sales of more than 235 aircraft in the website’s first seven months of operation. At the time of that announcement, the website had listings for more than 500 aircraft for sale, including nearly 400 jets, 70 turboprops, 20 piston airplanes, and 15 helicopters. It also contracted with Diane Levine-Wilson—The Shiane Group president, Amstat founder and past president of the National Aircraft Finance Association—to oversee the integrity of the listing information posted on the site.
Its next, transformative step was to develop an accreditation program for dealer-members and certification of individual brokers who work for them. For that effort, it hired Joseph Allan Aviation Consulting to originate and supervise the accreditation and certification processes. So far, IADA has accredited 38 dealers. Another 64 companies that are categorized as products and services members have also completed the accreditation.
Additionally, 35 brokers have qualified for certification, and in October about 50 more brokers are expected to take the certification exam.
For dealers to be eligible for accreditation, they must have been in business for at least five years, average 10 transactions a year, have at least three brokers on the payroll, be recommended by three IADA member dealers, and receive final membership approval from a majority of IADA dealers. In addition, they must annually sign the organization’s code of ethics, list their inventory on AircraftExchange, have sufficient liability and errors and omissions insurance, and complete annual ethics and compliance training.
One other caveat for dealers to maintain their accreditation is that they have to have at least 50 percent of their brokers certified by IADA. “Now, we’re hoping everyone will want to [be certified],” Starling added.
The organization expects to have more than 500 representatives from member companies attending the 2019 NBAA Convention. It also expects to announce around the time of the convention the formation of the IADA Foundation, Starling explained. The foundation will support charitable causes tied to business aviation, including granting annual business aviation scholarships in amounts from $1,000 to $5,000 to full-time undergraduate students attending colleges and universities that offer course work in areas such as corporate aviation management, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, aviation safety, finance, business marketing, and economics.