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Changes Coming to Static Display Area for NBAA2012

August 13, 2012

NBAA Flight Plan interview with Kim Showalter of Showalter Flying Service

Some of the last vestiges of damage caused to Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) by Hurricane Charley eight years ago are now being erased through a project that will not only benefit NBAA2012 when the Convention comes to town Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, but will also enhance airport operations year-round.

The Florida Department of Transportation is rebuilding and expanding the North Ramp at Orlando Executive. That’s home to NBAA Member Showalter Flying Service, which will host the Convention’s static display area.

“Hurricane Charley did $2.5 million in damage to our facility alone,” said the family-owned FBO’s President Kim Showalter. “It destroyed several buildings, but the foundations remained. So did the grass between where those buildings once stood. We wanted to make that space useable.”

Work on the project began earlier this year, Showalter said. “When it’s all done, it’ll give us a clear, open area of about 25 acres.”

While the new ramp facility will be a benefit to transient and based-aircraft operators alike, it will make a huge difference for Convention-goers as well, said NBAA Director of Static Displays Joe Hart.

 “This ramp improvement allows for more contiguous space than we’ve had to work with in years past at Orlando Executive, so we don’t have as many corners to work with,” Hart said. “It will vastly improve the flow of pedestrians over years past, because we have a much larger contiguous ramp now.”

The project is estimated to cost $1.1 million, according to airport records. Brad Elliott, Showalter’s director of new business, said Orlando will see a huge return on investments within weeks of its completion.

“NBAA is one of the 10-largest events held in the Orlando Convention Center. It comes here every two years and provides a lot of economic impact to Orlando. In fact, that impact is expected to be about $45 million for NBAA2012 alone. This new ramp will more than pay for itself with just that show,” said Elliott.

“Our aisles will be straight and crisp,” said Hart. “The way we’ll be able to lay out the display, some of the larger manufacturer exhibits will be in more prominent locations. We’ll also offer an excellent exhibitor opportunity for our used aircraft market through the broker network.”

The benefit will certainly be a lasting one, said Showalter. “For us going forward, this will make things so much easier in terms of doing every day business.”