The NBAA concluded an inspiring and forward-looking week at its 2022 convention and exhibition, NBAA-BACE, making the show among the best to date. The association also marked the 75th anniversary of its founding.
“NBAA-BACE was a stirring celebration of business aviation's proud history, but even more thrilling, it was a look into our promising future,” says NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “As we saw, that future will be shaped by safety, security, sustainability, talent development and innovation.”
The convention honoured the aviation legends who brought the industry to this milestone, while spotlighting the pioneers, new technologies and dynamic companies that will power business aviation over the next 75 years.
The show explored exciting trends and fired imaginations, highlighted by a behind-the-scenes look into the breathtaking flight sequences in the film Top Gun: Maverick with Blue Angels pilot Frank Weisser, aerial coordinator Kevin LaRosa II and actress Monica Barbaro. Pilot and author Tammie Jo Shults recounted her harrowing but safe landing of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 in 2018 following an uncontained engine failure.
The agenda was filled with standing room-only sessions, including an expanded programme in the NBAA Innovation Zone and two Education Theaters on the show floor. The bustling exhibit floor showcased new products and services, including the largest-ever footprint for advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicles, many of which are already in flight testing.
The event hosted dozens of visionary industry leaders and top regulatory officials from the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and EASA.
Three key members of Congress and general aviation champions, Representatives Sam Graves, Rick Larsen and Scott Franklin, shared how industry priorities will be reflected in next year's FAA reauthorisation bill.
FAA acting administrator Billy Nolen and EASA executive director Patrick Ky spoke to the industry's unwavering commitment to safety and shared their plans for new airspace entrants and goals for the future. During three full days of important new safety programming, NBAA-BACE hosted a special NTSB Safety Roundtable, which featured the agency's board members and other experts.
An inaugural NBAA Newsmakers Breakfast featured a thought-provoking conversation between Boeing chief strategy officer Marc Allen and industry analyst Richard Aboulafia of AeroDynamic Advisory about the ways the aviation community is innovating to meet technological, environmental and geopolitical challenges.
NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr shared his experiences defining his racing legacy, while beloved astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson awed the crowd with dramatic images from space, underscoring the importance of scientific exploration.
The need to develop, hire and retain a future business aviation workforce was front and centre all week. Bolen and Captain Barrington Irving announced a first-of-its-kind aviation training centre to provide innovative technical and professional education to support the industry's growth worldwide. In a series of engaging sessions, personnel experts shared best practices for fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in business aviation. And NBAA's Collegiate Connect programme brought students from across the Orlando area to the keynote stage and the show floor to discover career opportunities in business aviation.
The convention also featured new sessions and events for owner-operators, building on the recent announcement of the formation of NBAA's Owner Pilot Association Coalition (OPAC).
Business aviation's commitment to emissions reduction was evident throughout the show, from the sustainable aviation fuel and book-and-claim options available at Orlando-area airports, to the two day Sustainability Summit that put the focus on industry decarbonisation efforts inside the convention centre.
“NBAA recognised the best way to celebrate our 75th anniversary was to shape an even brighter future,” Bolen says. “This NBAA-BACE did that and more. It was a powerful and energising event for our industry.”
NBAA will carry the momentum forward next year, when NBAA-BACE returns to Las Vegas on 17-19 October, 2023.