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Welcome to NBAA2013
By Dick Shine, Chairman, NBAA Board of Directors
October 22, 2013
I wanted to take a minute to welcome you all to the most important business aviation event of the year.
In February we announced that NBAA was changing the name of its Convention from the Annual Meeting & Convention to Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE). This new name brings NBAA’s largest event into alignment with the naming of its other shows, such as the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) and the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE).
It also strengthens the overall brand for NBAA’s shows, underscoring their status as world-class events, with the high standards exhibitors and attendees expect from an NBAA show.
This week, nearly 25,000 of the industry’s key operators, decision-makers and leaders will gather here in Las Vegas to view business aviation’s newest products and services from nearly 1,100 exhibitors, as well as 85 of the most exciting aircraft at the outdoor static display at Henderson Executive Airport and about a dozen aircraft at the indoor static display at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
And don’t forget the nearly 100 education sessions and networking events we hope you take advantage of everything NBAA has to offer this week.
I was excited to see this morning’s well-attended Opening General Session featuring Missouri Congressman and House General Aviation Caucus Co-chair Sam Graves, TSA Administrator John Pistole and former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow as our distinguished keynote speakers.
We were also excited to present NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership to acclaimed actor and accomplished pilot Harrison Ford. Ford has long been a friend and outspoken champion of general aviation. It’s an honor to be able to recognize him for his years of work on our behalf, as well as his extensive philanthropic work.
I want to say it has been an honor and privilege to have served as your chairman for the past two years. NBAA is very fortunate to have an outstanding Board of Directors with whom I’ve had the good fortune of working closely over the past few years. These individuals all serve as volunteers and are laser focused on representing our membership’s interests and positioning our association for continued success in the future.
In addition, NBAA is so very blessed to have Ed Bolen as our CEO. Ed is one of the finest leaders I have ever had the opportunity of working with, and this includes both my military as well as my civilian careers. I am happy to report that the Board has taken steps to ensure that Ed will continue at the helm of NBAA for a long time to come!
I can’t thank the NBAA staff enough for their constant high level of performance in the face of one obstacle after another. Many of you know that we endured an unexpected office move just prior to last year’s annual meeting, forcing us to move into temporary quarters. One year later, we are now settling into our new permanent quarters. But if the double move was not enough for the staff to deal with, consider the distractions of user-fee proposals, image issues for all of general aviation, environmental and security issues, and last but not least, a federal government shutdown. I don’t know where NBAA finds such outstanding employees, but thank goodness they do, because there is never a shortage of problems facing our industry. As usual, the staff rises to the occasion.
I really appreciate all the support that I have received from everyone at NBAA and they have made my job easy.
Lastly, looking ahead, NBAA remains a very strong association. Your incoming chairman, Ron Duncan, has had tremendous experience as both a CEO and as an aviator, and the association is very lucky to have him assume the role of chairman. I feel that business aviation will continue to grow and thrive in the future.
There are challenges ahead, but with the help and cooperation of all the aviation community, we will solve these problems and many others that I have not even thought of. This industry has shown a cohesive spirit and a willingness to work together to solve or mitigate every obstacle that has been put in our way, and I know it will continue to do so in the future.
We continue to see new aircraft introductions, as well as improvements in old ones. In the world of electronics, the innovation we have witnessed over the past few years is nothing short of miraculous and there appears to be no end in sight. We are not all that far away from seeing a supersonic business aircraft enter service.
In the words of Marv Levy, the former coach of the Buffalo Bills, who went to four consecutive Super Bowls, “Where else would you rather be than right here, right now!”
This is a fantastic and exciting industry, and I am very proud to be a part of it.