NBAA Meets Next Week in Recovery Mode

It has to hurt that Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft have chosen to forego their large floor displays, but the National Business Aviation Association remains optimistic about next week's annual show. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said he expects strong attendance numbers at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, but doesn't aspire to set records. With the economy apparently on the way to recovery, the agenda at the convention will likely include discussion on how to speed the inclusion of business aviation into the comeback plans of corporate America - and the world. Part of that effort involves a push on Capitol Hill to rally support for general aviation. In the face of damaging attacks in the media and among lawmakers, GA has rallied its PR initiatives to generate positive exposure for non-commercial flying. Among the coups: Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has declared October "Aviation Appreciation Month." Meanwhile, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer has reiterated an invitation to President Obama to visit the city, which has been ravaged by layoffs in the wake of severe cutbacks among general aviation manufacturers. But the good news is that several signs point to general aviation's rise from the ashes.

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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