About 25,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors are expected at the 65th annual NBAA Convention, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday next week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. As one of the largest trade shows in the U.S., the business aviation convention is projected to have an economic impact of more than $51 million to the Orlando area, according to the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The second outdoor static display that was “just a few steps away from the convention center” at last year’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas was so enthusiastically received by both exhibitors and attendees that the association decided to do it at this year’s show. According to NBAA static display director Joe Hart, the additional static area at this year’s show encompasses up to 50,000 sq ft in a parking lot adjacent to the North Hall at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.
Business aviation visionary leader Albert Ueltschi, 95, founder and chairman emeritus of aviation training provider FlightSafety International, died at his home in Vero Beach, Fla., on Thursday evening. After being bitten by the flying bug at an early age, Ueltschi soloed at 16 and later bought an open-cockpit airplane and barnstormed around the country.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will hold the grand opening on Friday for the new Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center at its Daytona Beach, Fla. campus. The $13 million, 37,000-sq-ft facility replaces the former Spruance Hall administration building, which was destroyed by a tornado in 2006. The structure includes office and meeting spaces for ERAU president Dr. John Johnson, as well as other university administration personnel.
In another example of the government’s pushback against laser threats to aviation, a federal grand jury in Jacksonville, Fla., indicted John Tyler Pennywitt on October 5. He was accused of shining a handheld laser pointer at a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter on the night of June 3, 2012. Pennywitt was indicted under a section of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that makes it a federal crime to aim a laser at an aircraft, or even into the path of an aircraft.
A story in this week’s Loveland, Colo. Reporter Herald says that Allegiant Airlines’ suspension of service from Loveland in August was due to airline CEO Maurice Gallagher’s concern about safety based on too much local air traffic and the airport’s lack of a control tower. Local city officials, as well as representatives of the Transport Workers Union representing Allegiant flight attendants want to know why, if flight safety is the reason for the pullout, the airline plans to continue operating service to Las Vegas through the end of October.
Facing 100-percent hangar occupancy at Atlanta’s Cobb County Airport/McCollum Field, the Atlanta Executive Jet Center (AECJ) has completed its Corporate Row Hangar Project, a $7 million development. Occupying a six-acre plot leased by AECJ in 2010, it consists of 100,000 sq ft of corporate hangar space along with 240,000 sq ft of new ramp at the airport. The new complex is expected to generate $9 million a year for the local community.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) will be a featured speaker during the October 30 opening session at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. Mica serves as the chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which is one of the largest congressional panels in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mica is a national leader on transportation policy in the U.S., including aviation issues, said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, “and his comments will be of great interest to convention attendees and everyone in the business aviation community.”
NBAA’s 65th Annual Meeting and Convention comes a little later than normal this year, October 30 through November 1. The main event takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. And like last year’s event, this year’s will feature two static displays, the regular large gathering at Orlando Executive Airport, hosted by Showalter Flying Service, and a smaller on-site display next to the convention center.
Volo Aviation announced today that it has been awarded a five-year contract to manage Sebring Flight Center, the municipally owned FBO at Sebring Regional Airport in Central Florida. To increase traffic at the field, the company plans to reach out to commercial and corporate clients who might be able to take advantage of Sebring’s designation as a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone. According to Volo, this designation allows operators departing Sebring on international flights to uplift fuel without having to pay federal excise taxes.