Business Aviation Stands With Las Vegas 2017
NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) always represents the gathering of a large and diverse community to demonstrate the industry’s strength, as well as its resilience against numerous challenges. That theme carried added poignancy at the Opening General Session of NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, just nine days following the shooting that claimed 58 lives, and injured nearly 500 others.
”As we stand in Las Vegas, we’re aware that not only is it a pro-business place with great infrastructure and great energy, but we also see that is a city of remarkable strength, remarkable selflessness, remarkable compassion,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. ”Las Vegas is resilient. And we’re very proud be here at such an important time.”
Bolen then introduced Commissioner Lawrence Weekly with the Clark County Commission, which spearheaded the creation of the Las Vegas Victims Fund to assist those affected by the horrific events of Oct. 1.
”This city looked evil in its face, and the world saw that Las Vegas is a community, a family,” said Weekly. ”To the 30,000 delegates attending NBAA-BACE, I want to say thank you from our community. You don’t know what it means to all of us to have you here.”
”More than 50,000 people alone work here at MGM properties,” added Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, which owns 10 properties in the Vegas region, including Mandalay Bay. ”They would not have jobs were it not for conventions like NBAA-BACE. We know you don’t have to come to Las Vegas, but along with all of you, our city will continue to be Vegas Strong.”
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who will cap a nearly eight-year career at the agency when his term expires later this year, noted the important roles represented by the nearly 100 aircraft of all sizes and missions on display at NBAA-BACE.
”The ramp over at Henderson Executive Airport is a brightly colored tapestry of Aviat Huskies and Beechcraft Bonanzas woven among Gulfstreams and HondaJets,” he noted, ”and the presence of these aircraft is a powerful reminder to any onlooker that general aviation helps to propel the U.S. economy, [and] is a reminder that this industry has been at the forefront of innovation since the earliest days of flight.”
NBAA-BACE was held Oct. 10–12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Henderson Executive Airport (HND).
“This year’s show was special in many ways,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We celebrated NBAA’s 70th anniversary, and how our industry is stronger when we work together. We gathered in the company of aviation leaders and legends, like Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger and Capt. Jim Lovell. We saw the launch of exciting new products, and we brought a citywide convention to Las Vegas, which the city welcomed with open arms.”
Bolen said that with this year’s convention, NBAA hoped to “make Las Vegas proud, just as Las Vegas has made America proud.” Before the launch of the show, NBAA Charities made a $10,000 contribution to the Las Vegas Victims Fund, and throughout the event, the association encouraged show participants to contribute to the fund as well. During the show’s opening session, local leaders welcomed attendees, saying “with all of you, our city will continue to be Las Vegas strong.”
As NBAA-BACE 2017 wrapped, organizers pointed to several indicators of the show’s strength and enduring value:
• The event featured about 1,100 exhibitors, including more than 100 new exhibitors. Attendees represented all 50 U.S. states, and dozens of countries.
• With about 100 aircraft on static display, both at HND and inside the convention center, NBAA-BACE remains the preeminent venue for manufacturers to unveil new models. For example, this year, the Bombardier Global 7000, Gulfstream G600 and Pilatus PC-24 made their debut at the show.
• All three days of the show were packed with well-attended education sessions, including half-day programs at the NBAA National Safety Forum and Single-Pilot Safety Standdown. Discussions featured top safety experts and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
• On the final day of the show, more than 1,000 students came to NBAA-BACE, many to participate in Careers in Business Aviation Day, hearing from Dreams Soar Founder and around-the-world pilot Shaesta Waiz – plus a chance to interact with industry leaders and potential employers at the College/University Roundtable event.
• A charity auction event, held by NBAA and the Corporate Angel Network, raised $435,000 for CAN’s mission to transport cancer patients to treatment centers.
Advocacy in Focus at NBAA-BACE 2017
This year’s convention took place as debate continued in Washington over the future of the nation’s ATC system. In a media breakfast held just before the show’s opening, general aviation leaders united in mobilizing attendees to oppose legislation that would strip ATC oversight from Congress, and hand that authority over to a private, airline-centric board, unaccountable to the public.
Attendees took many opportunities throughout the week to send messages to Congress against ATC privatization, on their mobile devices and using dedicated personal devices on the show floor. Signage, lapel stickers and other promotional items visible throughout the exhibit hall and the static display of aircraft further encouraged attendees to contact their elected officials during the convention week at the show.
The 70th anniversary was also celebrated at the static display of aircraft at HND, with the inclusion of a “70th Anniversary Row,” where a 1946 Douglas DC-3 business aircraft joined other vintage aircraft from business aviation’s early days.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show.
Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
Photos by Bob Shane