The International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021. The organisation that began as the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) to fight against untrustworthy aircraft dealers has undergone transformational changes and is still fighting for transparency and integrity in aircraft deals.
“Everybody was tired of the 'get rich quick' people who were coming into our industry and trying to sell aircraft with far few ethics and a lot more baloney than you would expect to have,” says OgaraJets' John Foster, a founding member of the group. “They were giving us a bad reputation, and everyone wanted to be done with them.”
In addition to OgaraJets, other first year member companies who are now IADA accredited dealers are known today as Gantt Aviation, Duncan Aviation, JBA Aviation, Leading Edge, General Aviation Services, QS Partners and Eagle Aviation. Additional early members were Jack Prewitt & Associates, Aerosmith Penny, Austin Jet, Jet Transactions, Jim Markel & Associates, Express One and Sacramento Aviation.
Starting NARA was tough. It took a huge amount of time away from the group's businesses to get organised, and it cost a lot of money. “It was hard work. And as they say, it was probably the best of times,” continues Foster. “We had great, great synergy among us. We were very selective as to who we offered memberships. We wanted to make sure that people had been in business, they had proven themselves to be good at what they did, they had the right business ethics and they were the kind of people we wanted to do business with.
“And the amazing thing we saw then was how much great talent there was. Some of these people I had done business with. Some I didn't know very well at all. It was just amazing how much synergy we had and the care for our businesses and the care for our industry, and what great ideas came from all of these different people.”
Fast forward to 2021 and different chairmen have served as leaders of the organisation every year since the 1991 founding. Today IADA has a thoroughly global outlook that reflects its worldwide influence on the private aircraft transaction industry. IADA has created the first accreditation programme for aircraft dealers, administered by an impartial third party to rigorous professional standards of expertise and ethics.
Comprising seven per cent of the world's business jet dealers, IADA dealers buy and sell more aircraft by dollar volume than the rest of the world's dealers combined, averaging over 700 transactions and $6 billion in annual volume. Recently, IADA members actually registered over 1,200 global transactions, worth more than $10 billion, in the 12-month period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.