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NBAA’s Outdoor Static Display: A Sight to Be Seen
By Joe Hart, Senior Manager, Regional Forums and Static Displays
October 23, 2013
If you’re attending NBAA2013 this week, I urge you to make a trip out to Henderson Executive Airport to check out the 83 aircraft at our outdoor static display – I promise, it’s a must-see at the Convention.
You have a unique change to see the latest and greatest that business aviation has to offer – all in one place. A lot of our manufacturers are showing their newest products and modifications that are available. We’re having U.S. show debuts of some of the hottest aircraft, many of which have not yet been seen publicly in this country. In some cases, this is the first opportunity to see aircraft that are still being certified.
And as much as we would love to have all the aircraft inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, it’s just not logistically possible to move some of the larger aircraft over to the convention center. We’re able to do that with some of the light aircraft, which is why we’ve got the light business airplane and helicopter static display right on the convention center exhibit floor this year for the first time ever, but for our larger airframes we need to have the separate outdoor static display.
Putting together the display is a year-long endeavor I liken to putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. We have to move aircraft with wingspans of as much as 120 feet, and we always need to maintain towing aisles throughout the space. We also make allowances for all the other equipment for support of the display, such as generators, air conditioning, tents, restroom trailers, telecommunications equipment – all of this has to have a home on the space. Also, we have to make sure there’s a good traffic flow pattern for visitors.
We have about a week-and-a-half to build the venue and prepare for aircraft arrivals.
In a perfect world, we could have all the aircraft arrive early, have them all nicely lined up and then we can move them into position at our own pace. However, we don’t have anywhere at the airport where we can store more than 80 extra airplanes. We have parking positions for 10 to 12 aircraft at any given time, so we have to actually meter their arrivals.
The aircraft that are furthest away from our towing entry and exit point have to arrive first and then we build it out – like layering a cake. In the past, it would take us two full days to move aircraft. Over the years we’ve started producing scale layouts with every aircraft positioned on paper before it arrives. In addition, the exhibitors have been excellent partners and arrange for aircraft to arrive when we need them rather than when they want them. With these and other efficiency steps, we’ve got the entire thing wiggled down to about 10 hours – 10 hours to get 90 aircraft in.
So I hope you’ll set aside some time in what’s sure to be a packed Convention schedule to come down to Henderson. Shuttle buses are available from the Las Vegas Convention Center to bring you down – I know you’ll be happy you made the trip!