On Thursday, June 6, Meridian sent a team of 15 representatives to the NBAA White Plains Regional Forum at Westchester County Airport (HPN). The event hosted a record-breaking 3,200 attendees, making this the most-attended regional forum in any location.
“With a sold-out indoor exhibit hall of nearly 200 exhibitors and nearly 40 aircraft on static display, the White Plains NBAA Forum was a great value to our members,” said Dina Green, NBAA Vice President of events. “Business aviation professionals come to the forums to meet with customers face-to-face, network, gain valuable knowledge and see multiple aircraft models in one venue – the White Plains Forum provided all of that and much more.”
“It’s really well-attended,” said Dianne Tarantino from Collins Aerospace. “I think this year there are more customers here and it started earlier in the day than it normally does.”
NBAA CEO and President Ed Bolen opened the event by stressing the importance of airports in our infrastructure.
“Airports are fundamental to the success of business aviation. We have an infrastructure of airports that opens up the world to us—it’s very powerful,” he said. “All of this is possible because of a broader infrastructure that includes airplanes, it includes airports, it includes FBOs, it includes our ability to access airspace and these airports themselves. It includes a lot of dedicated people who are flying as pilots, but also those who are maintaining the airplane, building the airplane, insuring the airplane, financing the airplane.”
The event featured many programs for students and recent graduates, highlighting the defining aspects of a career in business aviation.
Meridian had a great showing at this year’s event, having the opportunity for face-to-face business paired with the event’s record-breaking attendance. There was never a dull moment at the Meridian booth for the entire event. Kirk Stephen, Director of Marketing, said, “White Plains is always a great show for us. With its proximity to New York City, we have the unique opportunity to meet with many of our customers, vendors, and friends at a local venue.”
White Plains was the last regional forum of 2019. Meridian will be exhibiting again at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) in Las Vegas, NV this October. We hope to see you there!
On June 21, 2018, Meridian proudly exhibited at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Regional Forum in White Plains, NY, held at the Westchester County Airport (HPN). In addition to hosting a 10′ x 10′ display stand, the company sent over 15 employees to meet and greet visitors. Kirk Stephen, Director of Marketing, said, “This Regional is the premier event for business aviation in the Northeast because it provides a great venue for vendors, customers, and prospects to come together under one roof and conduct business face-to-face. There are so many attendees at this show, that it really creates a unique networking opportunity for everyone here today. This is a must-attend event for us.”
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen stated “there is a pervasive sense of optimism in our industry.” According to NBAA, the event demonstrated a growing confidence of the industry, which was reflected in the forum’s numbers – 190 exhibitors, 2,700 attendees and a variety of aircraft, from single-engine piston-powered models to intercontinental business jets. “The energy and enthusiasm for business aviation was evident at this year’s White Plains Regional Forum,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “Exhibitors conducted significant business, attendees gained valuable insights from the education session content, and the mood projected a positive outlook for the industry.”
The prior evening, Fontainebleau Aviation and Meridian co-sponsored a bus trip to Yankee Stadium for aviation colleagues who were in town attending the regional. On the bus, guests were all given judge wigs to show their support for Aaron Judge, the popular Yankee slugger, as New York took on the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees won the game with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning for a dramatic ending to a fun evening.
Meridian is planning to exhibit at the next (and last) NBAA Regional Forum in 2018, which will be held on Thursday, September 6 at San Jose International Airport (SJC) in San Jose, CA.
Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company headquartered at Teterboro Airport, was actively getting the word out last week at the NBAA Regional Forum in White Plains, NY, about its new facility in Hayward, CA. It was an important event for Meridian to communicate its new location at this Regional because the new FBO and hangar facility at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) is expected to open its doors for business next month. For the first time, the company will have FBOs on both coasts and representatives from all departments were there to help deliver the message, including Air Charter, Aircraft Management, Aircraft Maintenance, Customer Service, Operations, Fuel Sales, and Marketing.
NBAA’s White Plains Regional Forum on Thursday, September 15 set a new attendance record for the venue and was the association’s second-highest attended regional forum in the event’s history with more than 2,800 attendees. The forum was held in a 52,000-square-foot pavilion constructed on the grounds of Westchester County Airport (HPN), and featured 184 indoor exhibitors and 52 aircraft and other vehicles on static display.
Local leaders praised NBAA and the business aviation community for what the industry brings to the region – not only through events such as the regional forum, but also through the jobs, connectivity and economic activity that business aviation supports in the local area. “We really do appreciate your business here,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “This is an important industry to this county. You mean a lot to us. Thank you for doing business here.”
“NBAA and its member organizations are part of what propels our economy forward,” noted New York state Assemblyman David Buchwald, adding that last year, New York passed a measure exempting all general aviation aircraft transactions from the state’s sales and use tax. “There’s a significant opportunity for your industry to expand here in New York.”
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees, “we are not just an industry, but we are a community. Today is a celebration of business aviation.” Bolen also discussed the ongoing concern over proposals – which have been put forward as part of a debate in Congress over reauthorization of the FAA – to create a privatized ATC system, funded through new user fees. While Congress set that proposal aside for the remainder of this year – and voted to fund the FAA through September 2017 – the fight isn’t yet over, he said. “Make your voice heard,” Bolen said, urging people to respond when NBAA calls on the industry to use NBAA’s Contact Congress tool to tell lawmakers to vote against any future ATC privatization plans. “This is not a fight that’s going away.”
In addition to hearing from Bolen and the local policymakers, face-to-face interaction was a prime reason for attendance among the thousands of people at the forum. “It’s a good use of your time, you can meet a lot of people in a short amount of time,” said Phil Kanagy, director of corporate flight operations with Duke Energy. Côme Charron, in sales and acquisitions for Guardian Jet, said the back in 2011 when he was looking for a job, he came to an NBAA Regional Forum to meet people, and eventually met his current employer. “NBAA is a great show for us. It’s really easy to meet people,” he said. “All the OEMs are here, the brokers are here, you meet people from the entire industry.” Attendee Paul Giansiracusa, a dispatcher with MCM Aviation, described the forum as an “invaluable tool.” “The face-to-face communication is great,” he added.
Sharing information is also a key part of NBAA Regional Forums, with the White Plains event featuring three sessions on some of the most important matters confronting the industry, including:
1. “How Does Globalization Impact Business Aviation?”, presented by Jay Mesinger, Mesinger Jet Sales
2. “Aircraft Appraisals and Evaluations in an Evolving Market,” presented by Gil Wolin, Business Aviation Advisor; Don Dwyer, Guardian Jet; Dave Labrozzi, Global Jet Capital; and Barb Spoor, Asset Insight/SAI Valuations
3. “Legal Update on Unmanned Aircraft: Friend or Foe?” presented by Greg Cirillo, HCH Legal
John Johnston, a board member with the Westchester Aviation Association (WAA), was presented with NBAA’s Silk Scarf Award at the forum for his long-standing contributions to the business aviation community. Johnston was director of flight operations for the McGraw-Hill Companies, and prior to that, he served as director of aviation for Verizon (GTE). He has been in aviation for more than 38 years, and has type ratings in 10 different aircraft. John also holds an ATP for both SEL and MEL aircraft; flight instructor ASEL, AMEL and instruments. John has been part of the local aviation community since 2001, and has been active with the WAA Career Fair planning community.
The White Plains Forum was the last of the NBAA Regional series in 2016. The schedule for the 2017 NBAA Regional Forums is now available and and will be held on the following dates and locations:
• January 26 – West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
• March 23 – Fort Worth, TX (FTW)
• September 7 – Morristown, NJ (MMU)