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NBAA, Regional Groups Commit to Deeper Collaboration

November 1, 2012

“There are so many different, autonomous organizations out there, working on their own – how can we prevent reinventing the wheel,” said Don Hitch of Roll Global at the Local/Regional Business Aviation Associations Networking Session at NBAA2012. “Our vision is connecting the dots.”

At the annual networking session, held Oct. 31, Hitch announced NBAA’s Local & Regional Group Subcommittee – which he chairs – “decided this year to make a new commitment to enhance communication with the groups and provide them tools for sharing ideas and resources.”

In fact, NBAA and the many regional groups already collaborate a great deal. As Steve Hadley, NBAA director of regional programs, said in the session, “There’s such an open relationship between different groups. You can give people a call if you’re forming a new group, to get bylaws, decide whether to do scholarships and get advice on forming a 501(c)3.”

Hitch’s commitment wants to see that level of collaboration go to the next level, optimizing the time and resources of regional group leaders and ensuring unity of effort. The subcommittee began by calling the leaders of each regional group, establishing a personal relationship and asking if they were aware of the tools available from NBAA.

New and Improved Tools from NBAA

“For 2013, our goal is to promote the available resources, and if they’re not working, improve them,” said Hitch. “We also want to establish a resources-sharing initiative to help answer those common questions: ‘How does Chicago do their bylaws?’ or ‘How are they dealing with succession planning in Georgia?’”

In the last few years, NBAA has updated or improved many of the resources the Association provides for regional groups and the industry at large:

  • Launched in 2009, the No Plane No Gain website has resources for local advocacy and media relations like templates for letters to the editor and op-eds.
  • The online NBAA Regional Group Library has a newly released publication titled NBAA Guidelines for Regional Business Aviation Groups to help Members establish and run their own regional groups, as well as links to webinars on topics like hosting a successful safety day and sample association bylaws.
  • The Regional Group Directory, also on NBAA’s website, lists all active regional groups in the U.S.
  • Air Mail, NBAA's Members-only social network, is an effective way for regional group leaders across the country to communicate.
  • The NBAA Airports Handbook is often very useful to regional groups in preserving access and is currently being updated.
  • The NBAA Business Aviation Fact Book was recently updated for 2012, with stats and stories for advocacy.

The subcommittee is also exploring an idea for a new event to gather regional group leaders from across the country in a setting other than a trade show, to share information and discover new opportunities to work together.

The goal is of the event is to agree on “clear action items we can come away with and really build some momentum,” said Iver Retrum, of SunBourne XVI, chairman of the Colorado Aviation Business Association.

'NBAA Wants to Help'

Also in the session, NBAA Senior Vice President of Communications Dan Hubbard explained how the business of the media – including local news affiliates competing for ratings during “sweeps weeks” and media consolidation – have made it increasingly likely that negative coverage of business aviation will spread across the country.

“We make ourselves available for satellite interviews even from Washington, we try to get local voices to the fore and put information in reporters’ hands,” Hubbard explained. “And we also give them our messaging about the jobs business aviation creates and the economic development it promotes. So, the bottom line is, we want to help.”

Download a free copy of the NBAA Guidelines for Regional Business Aviation Groups (PDF) now.

Related Links:

Regional Group Library

Regional Group Directory