Bizav Meets to Take on the Downtimes, Head-on

The tone at this year's 62nd National Business Aviation Association convention was almost warlike. In fact, Hawker Beechcraft's press conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, was conducted as though it were a combat mission briefing. CEO Bill Boisture and other members of the management staff wore flight suits and boots and discussed how best to employ their "weapons" in the battle to do business. The "enemy" of course, is the current state of the economy, allied with the double-whammy of a series of high-profile media attacks on business aviation. Though less overt, the same tone was replicated in most of the other press conferences held in conjunction with the convention. One after another aircraft manufacturer, component developer and service provider all addressed their methods of coping with unprecedented down times. And as Dassault Falcon Jet President John Rosanvallon pointed out, the downturn is that much more profound having come on the heels of several years of record prosperity in business aviation. But optimism certainly prevailed in the end, as all the presenters commented on the coming recovery, and how each in his way was preparing to take best advantage when - not if - the economy rebounds.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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