Category Archives: NBAA

NBAA renames its annual U.S. show

The National Business Aviation Association has changed the name of its largest U.S. annual event to the Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, or BACE.

It had formerly been called its “Annual Meeting and Convention.”

“In recent decades, (the event) has grown in size and importance to be much more than just a meeting, and this change reflects that reality,” ED Bolen, NBAA president and CEO, said in a statement. “The change also strengthens the overall brand for NBAA’s shows, underscoring their status as world-class events.”

The first convention was held in 1947 and is now the fifth largest U.S. trade show, according to NBAA.

It draws approximately 25,000 attendees from dozens of countries, more than 1,000 exhibitors and covers more than 1 million square feet of exhibit floor space.

It also features a static display of almost every aircraft type currently in production.


Local aviation, public relations exec Dave Franson co-launches “Conventional Wisdom”

Veteran Wichita aviation executive Dave Franson has co-founded Conventional Wisdom, a business providing expertise to convention exhibitors so they get the “most from their convention experience.”

Franson, who managed the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention for two years, joins Cassandra Bosco, former head of media relations for NBAA; Bob Searles, former editor of BCA Show Daily; and Steve Lowe, who managed displays and exhibits for Honeywell Aerospace.

They have expertise in media relations, public relations, exhibits and conventions.

They will give advice and counsel on which trade shows or conventions to attend, how much to budget, choosing the message, interacting with customers and the media, creating advertising and press materials, deciding whether to hold a press conference or a customer event and how to do it, where to go for help in designing, building and manning an exhibit and evaluating current exhibits and communication.

Typical customers would be small or mid-size businesses without staff with expertise on conventions, Franson said.

“We’ve all got all of this experience,” Franson said. “What we know from years at NBAA and other trade shows, the first couple of shows … can be a real challenge. It’s always beneficial to have someone who can walk you through that.”

Many companies utilize the NBAA annual convention, the Farnborough Air Show or other shows as their sole effort to market products or services.

Often they ignore or are unaware of the things they can do to multiply their message, Franson said.

“We’ll be available to help them each year or with each show,” he said. “We get with you first and get you up to speed. After the fact, we’ll do a critique and get you ready for the next one, if you desire.”

Franson will retain his position as president of the Wichita Aero Club.


ABACE 2012 show builds momentum

Organizers of the Asian Business Aviation Association’s show next year say the show is gaining momentum.

The world’s major business aircraft manufacturers have committed to exhibit at the show, which will run Feb. 28 – March 1, 2012 in Shanghai, organizers say. They include Wichita’s Cessna Aircraft Co., Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier, along with Boeing Business Jets, Airbus Corporate Jets, Embraer, Gulfstream Aerospace and Dassault Falcoln Jet Corp.

The first ABACE show was held in Shanghai in 2005. Asia’s emerging market is important to business aircraft producers.

Final day of NBAA in Atlanta

ATLANTA — It’s the final day of the world’s largest business jet show in Atlanta. After the show closes, the 93 planes on display at the DeKalb Peachtree Airport in Atlanta will begin to depart.

That’s quite a task considering the number of planes that are here and how close together they’re parked on the ramp. Getting them in the air takes quite a coordinated effort as many will be  ready to take off at about the same time.

Hawker Beechcraft will have an added task. Its lineup of aircraft is underneath an enclosed, massive white tent. That’s a plus for potential customers who can linger around the aircraft out of the sun or rain. In preparing for the show, the planes were put in position, and the tent constructed around them. To get them out, part of the tent must first be taken apart so they can be tugged through the tall ends of the tent.

Wichita’s National Center for Aviation Training gets broad attention at NBAA

072810NCAT_mh1ATLANTA — The National Center for Aviation Training is getting some attention at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention.

The center is being featured at the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition’s booth at the Georgia World Congress Center during the show.

This morning, officials held a media conference at the booth.

GWEDC president Vicki Pratt Gerbino, WATC vice president of academic affairs Sheree Utash and National Institute for Aviation Research executive director John Tomblin gave short presentations about the training center.

One feature that makes it different than other technical training institutes? Merging training and research, they said.

“For Wichita to compete in the global environment is to place the latest and greatest technology on the latest and greatest product and get it on the production floor as fast as we can,” Tomblin said.

Bombardier Learjet gets letters of intent for Wichita-built Learjet 60

learjet60ATLANTA — Bombardier Learjet has signed letters of intent for Learjet 60 aircraft.

Spokeswoman Danielle Boudreau won’t say how many jets have been sold. But that’s great news for Wichita, which builds the planes.

Exhibitors note that there’s a more upbeat mood at this year’s National Business Aviation Association convention, despite the continued down economy. The convention opened Tuesday and continues through Thursday.

“It does seem like there’s more energy,” said Bombardier Learjet’s David Coleal. “There’s lots of discussions.”

Now to turn them into orders.

Introducing the Ten

Cessna had a big show for customers to show off the new Citation Ten last night in Atlanta.

Look at this booth

gwedcVicki Pratt Gerbino, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, sent in this photo of the group’s booth at NBAA.

GWEDC is having a news conference Wednesday to talk about the National Center for Aviation Training. Gerbino, John Tomblin of National Institutue for Aviation Research and Sheree Utash of Wichita Area Technical College will introduce NCAT to the national trade publications.

If you have any pictures from NBAA, you can email them to Dan Loving at

NBAA gets under way; Bombardier, Piper give jet briefings

ATLANTA — The world’s largest business jet show opened this morning with more than 1,000 exhibitors and 93 airplanes on display.

nbaaThe displays at the National Business Aviation Association convention are up and running, and it doesn’t take long to run into attendees and exhibitors from Wichita.

Yellow carpet in the look of a runway — complete with sounds of aircraft taking off — led members of the media down hallways to a breakfast this morning before the opening session.

Piper Aircraft announced its revamped Piper jet, renamed the Altaire. The plane is changed in order to be adaptable for a family of jets, officials say. Seats for the aircraft designed and built by Wichita’s Millennium Concepts are on display at the Piper booth.

Bombardier also gave a briefing on its two new business jets, the Global 7000 and Global 8000, with longer range, bigger cabins and new wings and engines.

Hawker Beechcraft unveils Hawker 200 business jet and its newest King Air

hawker 200 (Large)

ATLANTA — Hawker Beechcraft revealed the latest plane in its Hawker business jet lineup, the Hawker 200 light jet, this afternoon at the National Business Aviation Association convention.

The plane, which will carry up to eight people, evolved from the Premier II program. The updated version has more capability and features than the Premier II, the company said.

Shawn Vick


“We’ve spent the last 18 months gathering valuable input from light jet customers around the world,” Hawker Beechcraft executive vice president Shawn Vick said. Not surprisingly, they said they wanted to go “fast, high and far — all in comfort and as efficiently as possible.”

“That made a lot of sense to us.”

The aircraft was also renamed to reflect the company’s lineup of Hawker business jets. In the study of customers, “a significant number of people … said, ‘Why isn’t this a Hawker airplane,’” Vick said.

The $7.5 million plane will fly at 450 knots and 43,000 feet. It will feature new winglets, new Williams International engines,  longer intervals between maintenance inspections and a longer composite airframe warranty of 10 years, up from five, the company said.

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