NBAA 2014 delivered an unobstructed vision of the future. We’ll be flying faster in larger, longer-range aircraft. They’ll be outfitted with a growing array of increasingly reliable safety devices. Fly-by-wire will become the standard. Before long we’ll be routinely exceeding the sound barrier. And we’ll be buying more business aircraft than we have been – good news for everyone in business aviation.
As always at NBAA, every conceivable gadget, safety device and upgrade was on display, experts at the ready with in-depth explanations. Every new aircraft was on view at the static, along with a broad representation of current models.
It’s All About the Connections
Despite the proliferation of sparkling hardware, the show’s biggest benefits are the human relationships forged and renewed. Even in an industry that flies for a living, face-to-face opportunities are limited. NBAA provides a reliable, annual meet-up.
Whether you’re offering aviation services or hardware, it’s a marketing extravaganza you really can’t afford to miss.
Highlights From NBAA 2014
- More than 26,000 attended, up slightly from 2013.
- Major aircraft announcements included the new Gulfstream G500 and G600, both large-cabin, long-range fly-by-wire aircraft. The Embraer Legacy 500, the first midsize fly-by-wire, earned FAA type certification on the convention’s first day. Bombardier showed a mock-up of its new Challenger 650 and Dassault Falcon showed a mock-up of its new 5X.
- Aerion, developer of the AS2 supersonic business jet, announced a partnership with Airbus. Allan McArtor, Airbus Group chairman, said the partnership will take the three-engine Mach 1.6 jet “To the finish line.”
- Both Honeywell, in partnership with AT&T, and SmartSky – partnered with Textron Aviation, Duncan Aviation, Harris Corporation and Satcom Direct – announced new 4G LTE networks that will span the United States with cell phone service that can reach both commercial and business aircraft.
- Wheels Up, a new membership-based concept in on-demand private aviation, continues its rapid expansion with new service to Texas and surrounding states.
- In news that was especially significant to us because of our longtime relationship with FlightSafety International, the NBAA’s 2014 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership went to International Jet Service for its work using business aviation to help make seriously ill kids’ dreams come true. Ueltschi, the late founder of FlightSafety, would have loved International Jet CEO Lynn Krogh’s comment: “When a parent says, ‘This is one of the highlights of my child’s life.’ … How do you put a price on that?”
Dallas Airmotive, a member company of UK-based BBA Aviation, makes the most of its presence at NBAA 2014 by rebuilding a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine – right on the convention floor. It was one of the most popular floor displays. We were among many at the convention who made it a point to cruise by the BBA booth periodically to see how the rebuild was progressing.
Pick Your Show – and Show Up
Members of our agency have been going to the show for 25 years now. It just keeps getting better. We wouldn’t miss it. Whether it’s NBAA, EBACE, ABACE or another show that caters to your particular corner of the aviation world, you shouldn’t either.