Tom Haines

NBAA 65th Convention–Challenges Galore!

October 28, 2012 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

When it comes to trade show challenges, the National Business Aviation Association gets a two-fer this week–a hurricane and a presidential TFR. And, oh yea, big time office construction issues back in D.C., but that’s another story.

For now, though, the association is dealing with Hurricane Sandy barreling toward the Northeast, where a lot of NBAA member companies are based; many of which will be making the decision on whether to leave their companies and come to Orlando for the big annual convention or stay at home and deal with the storm. By the way, the weather here in Orlando is great! Sandy just brushed by here a couple of days ago with no impact at all. And speaking of Sandy, is it just me or is it hard to take a storm named “Sandy” seriously? I mean, does anyone know anyone named Sandy who isn’t a nice person–easy to get along with, friendly?

NBAA is doing a nice job of keeping its attendees updated on the storm through a dedicated web page.

Meanwhile, last week, the NBAA staff learned that President Obama and his accompanying TFRs would be paying a visit to Orlando on Monday–set up day and arrival day for most attendees. The TFRs would be shutting down the airspace for hours. However, not even Air Force One is prepared to do battle with Sandy, so POTUS is now due here in Orlando Sunday evening, with the TFR time already changed a couple of times. Here is the latest from NBAA.

Host FBO for the aircraft display at Orlando Executive Airport is Showalter Flying Service. Owner Bob Showalter, normally a patient man, says he is fed up with Obama’s negative stance on business aviation–and the changing TFRs aren’t helping. He told me late last week that for the first time ever he has put up a political sign outside his FBO–and you can bet it is not for Obama.

But despite the challenges, the show must on, as they say. Earlier today I toured the exhibit hall, which is a chaotic scene of ┬ápeople, gear and equipment. There’s a literal highway down the middle with a constant stream of fork lifts–looks like the Beltway at 5 p.m. on a Friday. Frantic and disjointed as it may seem, by 10 a.m. Tuesday when the halls open, it will be a showcase the business aviation community can be proud of.

Look for our reporting from the event throughout the week. AOPA Live This Week will be anchored from the hall. Look for it, as always, on Thursday, last day of the show.

2 Responses to “NBAA 65th Convention–Challenges Galore!”

  1. Ravi "the Raviator" Says:

    Thanks for the report Tom…looking forward to seeing you there next week assuming Sandy doesn’t ruin my plans. Since the TFRs are not partisan, I’ll refrain from pinning that one on Obama! Best, Ravi

  2. Brent Says:

    We can’t wait to hear how its going and what is announced. Hopefully there will be a good turn-out despite the economy.

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