It’s the world’s largest civil aviation show, attracts more than 20,000 attendees, and has its eyes fixed firmly on the future of business aviation.
The 2022 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is just a few weeks away and is gearing up to welcome professionals and enthusiasts from all over the globe.
According to Dan Hubbard, SVP Communications at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the annual event, taking place this year in Orlando, Florida, provides an unparalleled chance to build knowledge. He is confident that this year’s convention will set a new standard in highlighting the inspiring people, bold ideas, new markets, and emerging technologies that are transforming business aviation.
He says: “NBAA-BACE always draws a lot of people, a lot of excitement, a lot of thought leadership, as well as great exhibiting, buying and selling, and networking opportunities. This event offers more exhibits, more aircraft, more opportunities for education and networking than any event dedicated to the business aviation industry.”
Taking place October 18-20, 2022 at the Orange County Convention Center, NBAA-BACE will display leading-edge aircraft, showcase best-in-class industry services, advanced avionics, and other products to a diverse range of industry insiders, key executives, VIPs, and prestigious buyers.
Hubbard says that NBAA-BACE is essentially a marketplace for anyone whose passion or profession involves business aviation, adding that “this is the show where we put business aviation on a global center stage for everybody to avail themselves of whatever opportunities business aviation presents for them”.
Attendees can expect announcements from companies about significant advancements and new products for the business, private and owner-operated aircraft industry, including on-demand and advance air mobility vehicles (of which, more later). Solutions and innovations for the sector’s biggest and most urgent challenges are also on the agenda, including the march towards a zero-carbon footprint.
“We have a lot of dedicated content for professional verticals,” explains Hubbard. “Whether you are a flight department manager, a pilot, a flight attendant or technician, a dispatcher or something else in the industry like finance, or if you’re in aviation law, we have something for you every year and that includes this year. The real value of all that is that it’s always current, it’s up to date. It’s very important in our industry because it evolves in key ways over time, and whatever your profession is you need to stay proficient. With this convention there may be no better opportunity to do that.”
Ranked among the largest shows in the United States, the 2022 NBAA-BACE program will focus on five key priorities for the business aviation industry: safety, sustainability, security, innovation, and workforce development.
“What you’re going to see in everything from our keynote stages to our newsmaker events to our education sessions, theaters we have on the floor, there will be all kinds of content,” says Hubbard. “We’ll be highlighting these themes in all kinds of different ways throughout the show week.”
He adds: “And we set up lots of networking moments for all these same cohorts within the industry to get together and learn from one another.”
NBAA-BACE aims to unite the industry and ignite new perspectives for the business aviation marketplace today and in the future. One of its important messages is the importance of a return to face-to-face networking following Covid-19.
During the height of the pandemic, and like many other organisations, NBAA-BACE suspended its physical convention for two years but continued to stage online shows. It returned as an in-person event in 2021.
“We saw an enormous turnout and enormous enthusiasm for those virtual events,” recalls Hubbard. “Those were terrific events and very well received. But they underscored the idea that nothing gets it quite like being face-to-face. And I think we all found that out as a broader society. There are things you can do online and they can be successful. But when the show returned last year, it was just electric. Everybody was so pleased to be able to get back together again for that experience.”
Last year, the organisers introduced a slew of new things at NBAA-BACE, including Advanced Air Mobility on the show floor with several models that people could look at, see and touch. “What we were telling people was we’re not just getting back together after two years, we’re coming together to move forward and think about the way the industry is moving forward,” says Hubbard.
“For the first time we had flights between the convention center and the airport from BLADE, the air taxi service. The idea there was that, sooner or later, these Advanced Air Mobility vehicles, these transport vehicles, are going to provide flights that look a lot like those BLADE flights today. So, it wasn’t just bringing the BLADE air taxi to the convention for the first time. It was the idea that people could check out things that we’re going to see a lot more of in the decades to come.”
Also new in 2021, and back for 2022, was the Business Aviation Sustainability Summit.
Hubbard explains: “This is where we brought together leaders at all points in the fuel supply chain, people who could talk about new modes of propulsion like electric and hydrogen, people who could take this from several different areas to talk about what the industry is doing in a host of ways to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It’s a shared business aviation sector goal and we are making progress toward it. But it was really great to be able to illustrate how we’re making progress toward it and the summit did that.”
This year, NBAA-BACE wants to underscore that the sustainability conversation has moved forward and progressed in meaningful ways. Part of that will include talking about that progress but also looking ahead to what to expect in the short, medium and long-term.
In addition, the line-up of keynote speakers is taking shape. While there are still announcements to be made, already confirmed are third generation NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., acclaimed astrophysicist, author and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Tammie Jo Shults. “She is the heroic pilot who safely landed the Southwest flight a few years ago that had an uncontained engine failure that cut the fuselage and made the flight pretty perilous,” explains Hubbard.
To register to attend 2022 NBAA-BACE, follow this link: nbaa.org/2022.