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NBAA and Regional Groups Come Together to Promote Industry

October 12, 2011

NBAA regional representatives and several dozen officials from the 65 local and regional business aviation groups across the country continue to explore ways to facilitate the growth and effectiveness of these industry-promoting organizations.

Dan Burkhart, NBAA's director of regional programs and western regional representative, told Attendees at Tuesday's Local/Regional Business Aviation Associations Networking session that the grassroots support generated by local/regional groups has been pivotal in recent years, as the industry fought off attempts to impose user fees and a Large Aircraft Security Program. Aviation professionals in virtually every state were able to contact their members of Congress and forcefully express their opposition to these onerous proposals.

Burkhart added that NBAA's Access Committee, which deals with airport and airspace issues receives valuable intelligence from regional groups, which enables the Association to better fight local operational restrictions on business aircraft.

"NBAA's charge is to support you," declared Burkhart, and the interactive session featured presentations from NBAA staff and various regional group officials, who offered tips on how to enhance their interaction and efficiency.

Burkhart noted that NBAA has conducted webinars to support regional groups, and the Association maintains an extensive library of resources at nbaa.org/advocacy/regional.

Chris Strong, NBAA's vice president of marketing and membership, provided tips on membership acquisition and retention, including how to use direct mail, e-mail and telemarketing to connect with existing and potential new members. Since it is easier to retain members than to acquire new ones, he urged regional groups to communicate with members on a regular basis and engage new members by reminding them of what resources are available to them.

Jeff Ramsden, representing the Network of Regional Business Aviation Associations, said his group's web site (norbaa.org) features a message board to facilitate real-time communications between regional groups.

Iver Retrum described how the Colorado Business Aviation Association evolved from a small group of like-minded aviation professionals based at Centennial Airport (APA) into a statewide organization that has been successful in hosting education/training, public awareness and legislative advocacy events. He said harnessing volunteers' energy, experience and diversity is key to a productive organization.

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