Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated in the final National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Regional Forum of 2015. The show was held at St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS) in St. Louis, MO. The one-day event was held on Thursday, September 17, and drew more than 1,200 attendees. The forum, held for the first time at that venue, hosted 130 exhibitors and 25 aircraft on static display, and closed out a year that also featured the popular local events in West Palm Beach, FL, and Teterboro, NJ. Meridian sent three representatives, including Mike Moore, VP of Aviation Sales, Anthony Banome, Director of Fuel Sales, and Nora Jacob, Customer Service Representative.
When the opening session concluded, and the forum got underway, exhibitors and attendees alike appreciated the forum’s value as a focused, one-day event. Leaders with local agencies and airport businesses illustrated the importance of the St. Louis-area event in highlighting the value of business aviation, and in supporting people and companies in the industry located in the area.
Peter Sadlo, president of the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association, said it is important to make sure young people can experience first-hand the possibilities that exist in the business aviation industry, and NBAA’s Regional Forums provide a great venue for that. “If we don’t get the next generation in at some point, it doesn’t work,” he said. “We need to share our network and get them involved.”
As with all NBAA events, elements of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign were on display throughout the forum, with signage highlighting CEOs with well-known companies from across the country, each providing testimonials to the value of business aviation to their organizations. The No Plane No Gain program, jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, educates policymakers and opinion leaders about the essential role of business aviation in the nation’s economy and transportation system.
NBAA’s St. Louis Regional Forum also included several education sessions, held throughout the day. Michelle Wade, of Jackson & Wade, discussed building successful aircraft and operating structures, while Mark Francetic, from Duncan Aviation, talked about how to prepare for NextGen and future equipment mandates, such as those for aircraft Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems. The forum closed with a talk by Travis Kuhn, from Aviation Research Group-US, who’s presentation focused on helping attendees make sense of the myriad business aviation flight activity and forecast data that is increasingly available to operators.
NBAA will continue its Regional Forums in 2016, with venues to be announced in the near future. NBAA will be hosting its annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2015) in Las Vegas, NV, from November 17-19, 2015. Meridian will be exhibiting at the show in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at booth #N4925.