Sonia Greteman - Aviation Marketing Expert

Static displays give you an unrivaled opportunity to kick some tires. Or admire some interiors.

Old friends and Kansas-like, blow-you-over winds made us feel right at home at the NBAA Regional Forum in Fort Worth last week. So did all the talk about the value of business aviation. We live it daily in the Air Capital.

Keep Public Skies Public

Air traffic control (ATC) privatization generated significant buzz from both NBAA leadership and attendees. It’s no wonder. This passionate group needs to have a united voice on this pivotal issue. General aviation deserves access to airports and airspace. When not only NBAA, but AOPA, AAAE, GAMA, HAI and NATA all come out against privatization, the federal government should listen. Closely.

Public airspace should belong to the public, not a special-interest board driven by a profit motive. Business aviation helps cover ATC funding through fuel taxes, so it’s not that it’s getting off without paying its fair share. General aviation also serves up a critical pool of pilots who may go on to work for the airlines. Privatization and its added operational expenses will shrink general aviation and this pilot pool.

Sonia Greteman and Ashley Bowen Cook TeslaThe evening before the forum, Executive AirShare’s meet and greet included test rides in a Tesla, which serves a similar market: people focused on innovation and state-of-the-art transportation solutions. Colleague Ashley Bowen Cook loves this sweet ride as much as me.

Share Knowledge and Support

Conversations gained broader audiences on social media with the hashtag #BizAvWorks. NBAA President Ed Bolen and his team championed their new campaign with leaders talking about how Business Aviation Works for their communities.

How business aviation…

  • Creates jobs – more than a million.
  • Generates as much as $219 billion in economic activity annually.
  • Transports people into 5,000 airports versus the 500 airlines can access.
  • Provides unrivaled humanitarian support, doing good day in and day out.
  • Is used by companies in all 50 U.S. states, with 55 percent of those having fewer than 500 employees.

Bolen reminded us that NBAA was founded by 19 companies coming together to foster community and provide support. Seven decades later, that mission remains unchanged. I’m hoping U.S. ATC privatization does not come to pass and business aviation can continue progressing.

Help Prevent Privatization

Take action. Visit NBAA’s No Plane No Gain website for information and quick links to reach out to Congress.

American Aero FTW

American Aero FTW served as the NBAA Regional Forum host FBO at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport. It opened a couple of months ago and now bustles with activity. The forum was held in two of American Aero’s hangars and on its 11-acre ramp, the largest on the field. It provided a world-class experience for the 1,700 attendees and 27 aircraft on display. Commercial aircraft stopped flying out of Meacham in 1953; today it serves business and general aviation. American Aero, with the city of Fort Worth, renovated American Airlines’ 1933 hangar (still the oldest building at Meacham) and administration building. American Aero VP Bob Agostino, an old friend from his days at Bombardier, gave colleague Ashley Bowen Cook and me a tour of their new, 85,000-square-foot administration building. American Aero FTW is the prime tenant and only FBO. Agostino and American Aero CEO Robert Bass are committed to making visitors first impression memorable. They’ve succeeded.

Executive AirShare at NBAA

Executive AirShare kicked off the NBAA Regional Forum with a mix-and-mingle event that got things off to a great start.

SmartSky Networks booth at NBAA

A key benefit of the forum, having the opportunity to talk to in-the-know exhibitors, such as SmartSky Networks. Especially when it’s a long-needed product like in-flight, business-grade Wi-Fi.

This column ran in the March 30th issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.