Meridian, the full-service private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, made a strong appearance at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) 2015 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2015) in Las Vegas, NV. The award-winning company proudly displayed its new exhibit in the North Hall with a 400 sq. ft. booth, and had 18 representatives on-hand to greet customers, friends, vendors, and new visitors. In addition to networking and reconnecting with industry peers, Meridian was pleased to announce the upcoming opening in 2016 of its new FBO and hangar at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA.
Ken Forester, Meridian CEO, had this to say, “Having a presence at the NBAA Convention is absolutely essential to our business. The annual event is a showcase for our industry, and fosters a positive environment for building relationships, conducting business, branding our company, and creating new opportunities. This was the perfect venue to announce the opening of our new facility in Hayward, which we expect to happen in August 2016.”
Event organizers report that the show was once again a resounding success for attendees and exhibitors alike. “This year’s show was enormously successful,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “In addition to the strong participation from exhibitors and attendees alike, our industry’s largest event once again showcased the size and significance of the business aviation community, as well as the passion and professionalism of its people.”
NBAA’s 2015 convention, which took place from Nov. 17 to 19, featured more than 1,100 exhibitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center, and more than 27,000 attendees. Additionally, about 100 aircraft were displayed in several locations – at a sold-out static display at Henderson Executive Airport, at an indoor display inside the convention center and at various exhibitor booths on the convention hall floor. Attendees from the show represented all 50 U.S. states, and 96 countries.
Along with the numbers demonstrating the strength of this year’s show, Bolen cited several other examples of the convention’s value:
• A crowded Opening General Session, which kicked off the show on Nov. 17, featured leaders from government, business and industry. Government leaders included Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Rep. Dina Titus (D-1-NV) and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Other speakers included Mark Baker, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and Dierks Bentley, acclaimed singer, songwriter and pilot.
• A well-attended, second-day Opening Session on Nov. 18 featured aviation leaders and legends, including “Miracle on the Hudson” hero-pilot, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Also, Joe Clark, the inventor of winglet technology, was presented with NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award. In addition, the National Aviation Hall of Fame announced its 2016 class of enshrinees.
• An inaugural National Safety Forum – a day-long session held on Nov. 19, the third and final day of NBAA2015 – which brought together top government and industry leaders to discuss and address the principal safety issues confronting business aircraft operators.
• The introduction of new or enhanced industry-advocacy tools, which were unveiled at the convention’s Media Kickoff Breakfast. For example, new, mobile-friendly versions of the No Plane No Gain website and NBAA’s online Contact Congress tool were introduced. Also, a new survey once again puts forward the true face of business aviation, to help correct misperceptions about the industry. In addition, a new edition of the “Business Leaders on Business Aviation” booklet was introduced – the expanded publication features testimonials from CEOs on the value of business aviation to their companies.
• A live Emergency-Response Simulation, which provided valuable knowledge on emergency preparedness responsibilities from leaders in aviation safety. The live demonstration put attendees at the scene of a simulated accident and utilized role-playing to demonstrate various flight department roles during an emergency.
• A full roster of education sessions, held throughout the week, as well as sessions on the future of aviation, and on unmanned aircraft systems, held in NBAA’s “Innovation Zone” on the exhibit floor.
• New events devoted to attracting and retaining young talent to business aviation, including an education session on creating internships in business aviation (where NBAA’s new Internship & Career Guide was introduced), as well as a session about how to identify and support the next generation of business aviation leaders, and a Careers in Business Aviation Day and a young professionals networking event.
• A successful charity benefit, co-hosted by NBAA and Corporate Angel Network (CAN), which raised $505,000 in support of CAN’s mission to provide life-saving flights to take cancer patients to treatment centers aboard business aircraft.
“NBAA’s 2015 convention was a memorable event that showcased our industry’s vitality and relevance,” Bolen said. “We were thrilled by the enthusiasm and activity that marked each of the show’s three days, and we are already are looking forward to next year’s convention in Orlando, FL, from Nov. 1 to 3, 2016.”