Last week, Meridian was well-represented at the 2016 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Orlando, FL. Meridian, headquartered at Teterboro Airport (TEB), was proud to participate in the largest business aviation event of the year by sending a team of 13 associates to represent the company at its 400 sq. ft. exhibit to welcome customers, prospects, visitors, and friends. NBAA-BACE is held annually by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). NBAA’s 2016 convention took place from Nov. 1-3 at the Orange County Convention Center, and at Orlando Executive Airport (ORL).
This year’s convention was particularly important for the NJ-based aviation company because it recently opened a new FBO and hangar on the West Coast. The company took the opportunity of being in front of industry peers to announce that Meridian Hayward is now open for business at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA. In addition to press coverage in the convention dailies and print advertisements in major industry publications, the company also held an exciting and well-attended raffle at its booth to help generate the buzz behind Hayward. In addition, Meridian HWD t-shirts were given out to 150 lucky recipients.
The new facility features the services and amenities that discerning passengers and flight crews should expect to find when traveling through a Meridian FBO, including professionally-trained customer service and line service teams, an elegant main lobby, business center, conference room, pilot briefing area, pilot lounge, coffee bar, kitchen/catering area, sleep room, shower and locker room, rental cars, and crew cars.
EPIC Fuels, a leading fuel supplier in the general and commercial aviation industries, is the branded fuel supplier for Meridian Hayward. The company offers the highest quality jet and avgas, and the EPIC card is proudly accepted at this location.
A great location for business and charter aircraft, Meridian Hayward is located at an airport with no curfew and, like Teterboro, is a General Aviation-specific airport, with no commercial airline traffic. This initial opening features a newly constructed 6,300 square foot terminal with support offices, a 30,000 square foot hanger and 3.5 acres of ramp area.
Additional phases of construction are planned, and will include a second 12,000 square foot terminal, two 40,000 square foot hangers and an additional seven acres of ramp space. The facility will serve as a West Coast base for Meridian Air Charter and Meridian Aircraft Management. Aircraft maintenance support is also available.
While the FBO is now officially operational, Meridian Hayward will be celebrating its Grand Opening on December 15, 2016.
Ken Forester, CEO, was at the event and had this to say, “We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the opening of our new FBO, Meridian Hayward, at this year’s NBAA Convention. We are now pumping fuel and ready to serve our customers at Hayward Executive Airport. Our team is excited to share this news with our aviation partners and friends in the industry, and we hope they will help us to spread the word that we have a new location in the San Francisco Bay area. The genesis of this project began four years ago, and now it’s no longer a vision, but a reality. Hayward is the keystone of our long-term growth strategy, which also includes a new hangar project happening in Teterboro, and the continued expansion of our charter fleet.”
NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition is the country’s sixth-largest trade show, and the largest in the world focused on business aviation. Next year’s convention will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, from October 10-12, 2017.
October is the time of year for the annual “Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch” campaign, sponsored by Table to Table. Meridian is a proud supporter of Table to Table, a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations serving the hungry in Northern New Jersey. During the Bag-A-Lunch campaign, we ask Meridian employees to donate what they would normally spend on lunch for a day. Donating to the campaign is voluntary and the donation amounts are of each individual’s choosing. After the donations are tallied at the end of the program, the company donates a matching gift at 100%, effectively doubling the contribution.
The program, which ended on Wednesday, October 19, resulted in $810 of Meridian employee contributions. With company matching added to that amount, the total donations from Meridian brought the final tally to $1,620, surpassing last year’s contribution level. Kelly Manzo, HR Assistant, was the Meridian Team Captain, responsible for promoting the program at the company and coordinating with her counterparts at Table to Table. Ms. Manzo says, “The Bag-A-Lunch program is a great way for employees to help others in our local communities who are less fortunate. By donating what we would normally spend on lunch, each person’s individual contribution will double with the gift matching program, and ultimately have a much greater impact on those who need it most.” To help raise awareness of the campaign, donation bags were placed in several locations throughout the FBO, including the Break Room, Line Service, Jet Center, and Charter areas.
Did you know….
• 1 in 4 New Jersey residents do not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of food and housing.
• 1 in 5 children do not know where their next meal will come from
• This year, Table to Table will deliver 15 million fresh, nutritious meals (free of charge) to our hungry neighbors in Northeastern NJ.
• Last year, the success of the Bag a Lunch Initiative enabled Table to Table to deliver 3,000,000 of those meals!
Every day Table to Table picks up fresh, wholesome food that otherwise would have been discarded, and delivers it safely to non-profit organizations such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters and centers, programs for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and programs that assist the working poor that serve meals to the hungry in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex counties. With five refrigerated vehicles and dedicated drivers, Table to Table picks up food from a wide range of food establishments each day. This food is delivered on the day it is donated, avoiding the need for warehouse facilities and keeping Table To Table’s costs limited to the operation of the vehicles.
For more information or to make a donation, please visit: www.tabletotable.org
On September 15, 2016, Meridian was formally presented with the 2016 Pilots’ Choice Award at the NBAA Regional Forum in White Plains. Sarah Wilson of FltPlan.com officially presented the award to Meridian’s Andrea Politis, the FBO representative at the event. The results of the 2016 Pilots’ Choice Awards were released in May 2016, but the awards were not presented to the winners until September.
Meridian received the #1 Teterboro FBO ranking from FltPlan.com, as well as the #1 FBO in the Northeast ranking. FltPlan.com’s survey, known as the Pilots’ Choice Awards, also ranked the top 50 Best FBOs in the U.S. and Meridian Teterboro is proud to have been voted #3.
According to FltPlan.com, a record number of votes were cast this year by registered users. FltPlan.com also announced Star Award winners, which are determined by the number of votes received, the amount of competition on the field and airport arrival data. Meridian was ranked #10. This survey is well-respected and we are honored to be so highly recognized by our customers.
“We are honored for being named the top FBO in the Northeast by FltPlan.com, as well as being recognized as one of the leading FBOs nationwide,” said Ken Forester, Meridian CEO. “We take our commitment to customer service very seriously, and I am happy to see the high level of satisfaction from so many of our customers and friends. I am proud of our entire team that works hard to exceed expectations every day.”
Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company, proudly sent a team of 8 runners to participate in the 19th Annual PSE&G Teterboro Airport 5K on Saturday, July 16, 2016. This unique race, located at one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, attracts nearly 1,000 runners and hundreds of spectators each year. The course, which takes place mostly on one of the two airport runways, is flat with only five turns, two water stops, and mile clocks. While the course itself may not seem challenging to a seasoned runner, the summer heat reflecting from the sun-drenched tarmac is often the biggest challenge. The event was certified and sanctioned by the USATF-NJ.
Team results were calculated by the using the top 3 running times from that team. Meridian finished 4th among TEB tenants with a final team score of 1:26:58 and an average of time of 28:59.56. The top scores from Team Meridian were as follows:
|Cristian Valencina||27:43.64||(239th overall)|
|Anthony Zambrano||28:23.44||(262nd overall)|
|Eric Chavez||30:51.61||(328th overall)|
More race results are available online at https://www.compuscore.com/cs2016/july/teterbor.htm#overall
The event featured over $10,000 in random prizes, a $1,000 grand prize, ChronoTrack B-Tag scoring, United Way mini-flyer dashes, refreshments and a DJ. The event benefits The Bergen County United Way, which is one of the largest charitable organizations in the community. Proceeds collected from the run help the organization to provide direct services to the most vulnerable residents in the community and to develop programs and financial resources to address unmet needs. For more information about the Bergen County United Way, go to https://www.bergenunitedway.org.
Last week, Meridian sent a team of associates to Geneva, Switzerland, to represent the company at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2016). EBACE is the largest annual business aviation event in Europe, and is jointly hosted by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). As in previous years, this industry event was held at the Palexpo Convention Center from May 24 – 26, 2016. The convention center is conveniently located at Geneva Airport (GVA), which uniquely offers attendees the ability to visit exhibitor booths and the static display in one location.
Organizers were pleased with the turnout of exhibitors and attendees, and the show continues to demonstrate its place as Europe’s foremost business aviation event. “This year’s show was a terrific success, characterized by a full exhibit floor, with lots of business getting done,” noted EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba. “It’s an affirmation that EBACE remains Europe’s most important industry event.”
EBAA President Brian Humphries agreed. “We’re very pleased with the level of enthusiasm we’ve seen this year,” he said. “In addition to the busy show floor and sold-out aircraft static display, our seminars and education sessions were well attended, and participants were very engaged with presenters and one another.”
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen added: “EBACE exhibitors and attendees repeatedly told us this week that the show continues to be a must-attend on the industry calendar. Additionally, EBACE once again highlighted the size and significance of business aviation in Europe, and around the world.”
Below are several statistics highlighting the success of this year’s show:
1. EBACE2016 featured more than 450 exhibitors, representing over 40 countries.
2. The static display of aircraft featured 60 aircraft – some were new to the event, or made their world debut at EBACE. The footprint for the show was the largest to date.
3. EBACE2016 attendees came from more than 100 countries.
4. More than 400 journalists from all over the world were in attendance.
5. The show’s Opening General Session lineup was among the strongest ever, featuring leaders from government and industry. Keynote speakers included former Foreign Minister of France and co-founder of Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Bernard Kouchner; Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Patrick Ky, and; Channel IT Group founder and CEO Bassim Haidar, whose company provides telecommunications and electricity in 23 countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Haidar has extensively used business aviation to help his company be more flexible, efficient and successful.
6. The event included two day-long seminars – one related to aircraft transactions, the other on business aviation safety – as well as a host of education sessions covering important industry topics and trends. The show’s popular “Inspiration Zone” had sessions on timely topics, including considerations for business aviation operations in parts of the world affected by the Zika virus.
“By every measure, EBACE2016 was a great success, and we are delighted with the support we’ve received from exhibitors and attendees,” Gamba concluded. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Geneva for EBACE2017.” Next year, the show will take place from May 22 – 24, 2017.
Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ, is pleased to announce that Matthew Lipka has been selected by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) as a recipient of its 2016 Leadership Conference Scholarship. The association’s Business Aviation Management Committee (BAMC) selected only two individuals among a large pool of applicants to receive this prestigious honor. The scholarship covers the recipient’s expenses incurred (up to $2,000) for attending the Conference.
Mr. Lipka’s career goals include becoming a leader and advocate of business aviation. Towards that end, he has been employed as a Flight Coordinator with Meridian Air Charter since 2012, he is a volunteer on NBAA’s Domestic Operations Committee, and he has earned a commercial multi-engine pilot license with a type rating in a Bombardier Challenger 300. Prior to joining Meridian, he worked as a fuel specialist with Everest Fuel Management. Mr. Lipka is a graduate of Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH.
The Leadership Conference, which was held February 22 – 24, 2016 in San Antonio, TX, is designed for current and future leaders in the business aviation industry, ranging from aircraft operators to industry vendors who offer their aviation products and services. The event is sponsored by donations from the BAMC members, and representatives from member companies were in attendance at the event to recognize this year’s recipients. The Leadership Conference is now in its twelfth year and attendance was expected to reach 450 at this year’s event.
Mr. Lipka was grateful to be a scholarship recipient, and had this to say, “I am truly honored to be chosen to attend the 2016 Leadership Conference. It is a great opportunity for me to heighten my skills within the company, not just for my current role as a flight coordinator, but for any future endeavors in a management role at Meridian. To meet and speak with current leaders in their respective fields, and to incorporate methods and ideas for business success are invaluable tools that I will take away from this conference.”
Last week, Meridian sent a team of eight down to West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) to represent the company at the first NBAA Regional Forum of 2016. Although the weather was a bit challenging with heavy rains throughout the South Florida region, the business aviation community was undaunted, and showed up in numbers to the event on Thursday, Jan. 28, as more than 2,200 people turned out for the event. With 120 exhibitors and 25 aircraft on static display, the event set an attendance record for NBAA’s South Florida forums.
Florida state Sen. Maria Sachs who represents the Palm Beach area, welcomed attendees to her state, noting it’s first in the country for aircraft manufacturing – and officials plan to work hard to stay on top through tax and other initiatives.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen agreed, “Florida is a great place for business aviation,” adding that the industry “has a bright future in this country and around the world.” However, he said, business aviation is facing an attack from those in Congress looking to create a privatized ATC system, funded by user fees, as part of the debate underway in Washington over reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. Such proposals, Bolen noted, could severely limit business aircraft operators’ access to airports and airspace.
Many airlines, Bolen explained, want a system governed by a private entity, rather than the federal government, and that won’t work for business aviation. “This is a fundamentally flawed concept,” he said.
“It’s an effort by airlines to gain control and operate [the ATC system] for their benefit,” Bolen said, noting that the vast majority of airports in this county are not served by airlines. It’s business aviation, he said, that provides access to small communities around the country, and is responsible for more than 1.1 million jobs in the U.S.
Bolen urged attendees to contact lawmakers using NBAA’s online Contact Congress tool, and make their voices heard on the issue. “We’ve got to make our voice heard, let’s do that today,” he said. “Our concern is this can move forward so fast, it could be over before you see the details.” View NBAA’s online Contact Congress resource.
Many exhibitors praised the regional forum as an essential event for meeting new and current customers.
“It’s very helpful for us to have a presence here, said Corey Hanlon, marketing and community relations coordinator for New Jersey’s Morristown Airport. “It’s important to let people know that in the New York/New Jersey area there are several [airport] alternatives.”
Ivette Pla, director at Jetex in Miami, FL, agreed. “The regional shows are important because the regional flight departments don’t make it to the bigger shows.”
“It’s been very good, there’s a large amount of traffic from a lot of the operators I deal with,” said Brian Sprecher, Southeast regional sales manager with Constant Aviation. “At these shows I can see 30 operators in a day. I can have a lot of face time with a lot of operators in a short amount of time.”
The importance of NBAA regional forums also extends to the future of the industry, with students from nearby Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and elsewhere coming to talk with attendees and exhibitors and learn what business aviation may offer them in terms of career options.
Also, at PBI, ERAU graduate Shaeta Waiz, a pilot, debuted the Beechcraft Bonanza airplane she will be piloting in her attempt to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. Waiz’s journey kicks off June 2 from Daytona Beach, FL, and the planned 90-day trek is slated to include 35 stops on five continents, with events on each designed to empower young women to pursue STEM (science, technology engineering and math) education and “soar.”
“It’s an opportunity for young women to come together and share their successes,” said Waiz, who was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan. “I want this to shed hope and give others some inspiration.”
The other NBAA regional forums for 2016 will be held June 9 in Van Nuys, CA, and Sept. 15 in White Plains, NY.