Aims To Spotlight Smaller Side Of BizAv
When you think of the National Business Aviation Association,
what types of aircraft first come to mind? Citations, Challengers,
Falcons and the like... right? Well, NBAA would like people to
think smaller, too.
At a packed news conference Wednesday at Lakeland 2008, NBAA CEO
Ed Bolen announced the first of what the organization hopes will be
an annual event, showcasing the "lighter" side of business aviation
-- light jets, turboprops, and piston aircraft. The inaugural Light
Airplane Conference and Exhibition is scheduled for March 12-14,
2009, in San Diego, CA.
"We are confident that the Light Airplane Conference &
Exhibition will be well received by our light airplane operators,
who will now benefit from a show filled with exhibits and
educational information sessions focused on their unique interests,
and a static display that showcases their aircraft."
NBAA plans to have approximately 1,000 exhibit booth spaces at
LAC&E, with 50 aircraft on display at nearby San Diego
International Airport. The organization also expects to offer 25
information sessions, tailored to light business aircraft
While the perception of his organization is mostly of its
high-flying members in Global Express jets and BBJs, Bolen noted
that of NBAA's estimated 8,000 member business and organizations,
1,000 operate piston aircraft -- and that a majority (60 percent)
own just a single plane they use for business.
Bolen acknowledged those users may feel "overshadowed" by larger
operators, or during the pomp and circumstance of NBAA's annual
conference -- and feels a different kind of show is needed to
appeal to those users.
And, Bolen added, NBAA wants to hear from those users, to help
cater the event to their interests.
"Perhaps the best part about this show is that light airplane
operators are going to help guide our planning for it," Bolen said.
"Throughout the rest of Sun 'N Fun, and in the months to come, NBAA
wants to hear from light aircraft operators in our industry about
how to make the event as valuable an experience as possible."
Bolen said anyone interested in having their voice heard may
submit their suggestions to email@example.com, or by
When asked whether Bolen felt the new show targeting smaller
aircraft types -- those showcased at other general aviation "letter
group" events, such as AOPA Expo -- Bolen flatly said NBAA "would
not have gone forward (with LAC&E) if we felt it would have
"AOPA is a key strategic partner in the ultimate success of
business aviation," he added.