My Top 5 To-Dos at NBAA

Here’s what to look forward to at the 2022 convention in Orlando.

The Orlando Executive Airport (KORL) hosts the static display for NBAA-BACE in 2022. [Courtesy: Julie Boatman]

There are essentially two convention centers in the U.S. large enough to host the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which launches next week.

For 2022, it’s in Orlando, Florida, at the massive Orange County Convention Center—which thankfully was not adversely affected enough by the wet sucker punch of Hurricane Ian a couple of weeks ago to call off the show. I know there was a bit of nail-biting around FLYING’s team—I can only imagine how our friends at NBAA felt.

5. Catching Up with the New YoPros

For 2022, NBAA invites its fifth annual class of young professionals to network at the show—it’s Top 40 Under 40 was announced Friday. 

“We are honored to recognize this new class of Top 40 Under 40 business aviation professionals,” said NBAA’s president and CEO Ed Bolen. “These rising stars will be the leaders who will drive our industry to grow and move into the future.”

As part of a team that re-envisioned FLYING under its new ownership last summer, we purposefully set out to bring people on board who have recently started or advanced their careers in media and aviation. We have had our own “YoPros,” as a result, including Ashley Barajas, Grace Carlon, Preston Holland, Jeremy Kariuki, Andy Welch, Michael Wildes—and actual former NBAA YoPro Ian Lumpp. 

I learn from them every day, and you can too. NBAA hosts a networking event on Tuesday evening at 5:30 to 7 p.m.

4. Learning the Latest on Sustainable Efforts

We’ve recognized NBAA with FLYING’s Innovation Award for its leadership in the drive towards net-zero carbon emissions in the business aviation industry—and the organization continues to support not only broad initiatives but also specific application of sustainable products and services leading up to and at BACE this year.

Though sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) only accounts for a single-digit percentage of the overall turbine fuel market, those flying in can take advantage of at least three local purveyors at airports in the region who have taken delivery of SAF for the event.

  • Sheltair at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), site of the NBAA static display, in partnership with Avfuel
  • Signature Flight Support at Orlando International Airport (KMCO) or Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM) in partnership with Epic Fuels
  • Atlantic Aviation at both KMCO and KORL, in partnership with 4AIR, with Atlantic sponsoring the markup to SAF over traditional jet-A so that operators may claim the sustainability credit without additional cost
If you’re flying a turbine-powered aircraft into KORL, you can fill up on SAF at Sheltair—and check out the cool mural on the side of the FBO. [Courtesy: Julie Boatman]

Avfuel is also delivering SAF to Textron Aviation and Embraer for use on their flights to bring aircraft to the static display.

At the conference, check out sessions like “Climate Risk & Business Aviation,” and we’ll be attending the “Decarbonizing Aviation” luncheon.

3. Seeking Out New Tools for Leveraging BizAv

While the big buzz at any aviation trade show normally centers around new aircraft—and that makes sense—our previews are also pointing to a number of new apps and service programs that will help pilots, owners, and operators properly leverage their assets, from the purchase process to engine management programs that promote efficient, economical, and time-saving operations.

Stay tuned for more on these next week as we break the news.

Also, NBAA continues its support of owner- and single-pilot-flown turboprops and jets with the 2022 Single-Pilot Safety Standdown. With a full morning of briefings and interactive sessions, pilots can come together to tackle challenges that continue to face us, such as runway excursions.

2. Getting Up Close and Personal with New Aircraft

With the launch of BusinessAir TV by FLYING at NBAA-BACE, we will be bringing you all of the top news stories of the week—and the opportunity to walk through new aircraft on display. We’ll have three broadcasts during the show each evening—and the fun will continue on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. Eastern in the weeks to come.

We’ve already got wind of at least three new program updates that I think will prove very exciting for the industry, each in their own way. And with the number of great airplanes in development, we’re sure to hear more about the latest offerings from the major OEMs and new partnerships. Check out our FLYING Buyers Guide for more on new aircraft on the market as well as what’s in store. It’s available at the show, at your local FBO, or by subscription.

1. Connecting with the Aviation Family

It’s no secret that the opportunity to get together ranks at the top of my list. With so many folks making the journey to Orlando, whether to fly in aircraft, set up displays, attend training sessions, or report on it all, I welcome the chance to connect again.

I’m especially proud of the way that our community has come together time and time again to assist others—and as a pilot, owner, or operator in the business aviation space, if you want to do more, here’s one place where you can find a way to do so: NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database. 

I hope to see you in Orlando—and let me know what you’d like to learn most from the conference:

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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