General Trade Show

Meridian Exhibits at Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

Team Meridian is ready to start Schedulers & Dispatchers in Charlotte, NC.  (Left to Right: Phil Boyer, Chris Battaglia, Jenny Deitschman, Jeremy Ojerholm, MaKayla Gorski, and Kirk Stephen)

Meridian sent a team of six associates to work their exhibit at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) 31st Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2020) held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC, from March 10 – 12.  The company sent representatives from Aircraft Management, Charter Sales and Operations, Customer Service, and Marketing.  The show ended with positive marks among exhibitors and attendees for the show’s timely content, new products and features and quality attendees.
The event ranked among the top 10 editions of Schedulers & Dispatchers, as measured by participation from exhibitors and the 2,500 registered attendees.  It began by addressing a difficult challenge confronting business aviation: the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, a particular concern for a highly mobile industry.
In the opening keynote address, Dr. Clayton Cowl, chair, preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine with the Mayo Clinic, provided an update on the rapidly evolving situation, along with practical tips for reducing community transmission of the virus. Don Chupp, president and CEO with global emergency-response firm Fireside Partners, offered advice regarding communications and business planning in light of the situation.
The opening keynote concluded with an inspiring presentation from Warren Macdonald, Australian environmentalist, adaptive mountain climber and bilateral above-the-knee amputee, who shared life-changing lessons learned after surviving a traumatic climbing accident.
Once the event got underway, attendees were on hand for education sessions covering a host of timely topics, including integration of unmanned aircraft systems into flight departments, combating cybersecurity threats, and the latest considerations for operations in areas ranging from America’s Eastern seaboard to Eastern Europe and Asia.
More than 90% of confirmed exhibitors were on hand, eager to share their perspectives. “We’ve got fixed-base operators from all over the country here exhibiting with us,” said Meghan Allen, associate brand director with SDC exhibitor Phillips 66 Aviation.

An aerial view of the trade show floor at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Bringing added energy to the show were first-time features, including an inaugural SDC New Products Showcase, which introduced 13 products and services new to the business aviation marketplace. “The showcase was very well received,” noted Tyler Austin, NBAA senior manager of certification. “It not only offered these new entrants an opportunity to build relationships with customers; it underscored the innovative spirit characteristic of business aviation.”
With a nod toward the industry’s future, a group of SDC participants gathered before show-start at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with 45 students from Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, a local STEM high school, where industry professionals offered the students a first-hand look at the career possibilities available in business aviation.
SDC participants also displayed their pay-it-forward spirit, gathering more than 1,000 pieces of professional business attire for local charities Dress for Success-Charlotte and Suit Up Charlotte.
Despite the event’s momentum, organizers concluded the full SDC program one day early, when the exhibit floor closed on Thursday, March 12.
NBAA’s public statement about the decision noted that the association’s highest priority remains the health and well-being of participants. With that in mind, the SDC organizers added that their planning was informed in part by a series of continually evolving announcements from several authorities, including the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health and aviation-safety experts – all of which were impacting travel planning and other decisions.
“As with all NBAA events, we view our participants as partners whose health, safety and security is always our foremost concern, and that was the guiding principle behind this decision,” noted NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We thank all SDC participants for their support in this challenging environment, and we look forward to welcoming them back for an even better conference in 2021.”

Downtown Charlotte at night.
General Private Air Charter

Meridian Exhibits at Record-Breaking Schedulers Conference

Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)
Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated in the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2015) at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA. The annual conference was held from Tuesday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 6, with a record-breaking 2,700-plus attendees. The company sent nine representatives from its Headquarters in Teterboro, NJ, as well as three local representatives from the West Coast, including CEO Ken Forester.
This year’s conference featured a groundbreaking live-action business aviation emergency response drill, five days of in-depth educational opportunities, and a visit from former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. The live emergency response simulation was staged during the first-ever Second-Day General Session. Blending live actors with video simulations, the immersive drill left many attendees reflecting on the effectiveness of their own emergency response plans.
“This has been an incredibly exciting and engaging show,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “We’ve had packed session rooms, people taking every opportunity to share experiences with their peers from across the country and a powerfully captivating emergency simulation that brought the participating crowd to its feet.”
Mineta, an esteemed aviation leader who has also served as a congressman, the mayor of San Jose, as well as U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, visited the conference on Thursday, Feb. 5, meeting NBAA staff and committee leaders while touring the exhibit floor. His visit was all the more fitting, with the conference held less than 3 miles from the airport that bears his name: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).
“We’re very proud to have had former Secretary Mineta on hand to demonstrate his enthusiasm for our industry,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of NBAA. “Many of the attendees were inspired by his service and he, in turn, was clearly impressed with the professionalism of business aviation schedulers and dispatchers and the contributions attendees made to the local community.”
SDC2015 broke more than attendance records, with the conference’s annual Pay It Forward program collecting a record 1,452 suits, dresses, shirts and other business attire for Dress for Success and Sacred Heart San Jose. With a first-ever pedometer competition, based on steps walked across the show floor, the conference also raised $4,000 for the two local charities.
The educational program at SDC2015 was more dynamic than ever, with in-depth sessions on advanced topics such as personal use of aircraft, international aviation regulations and handling and Fit for Duty: Not Just for Flightcrews.
There were more than 450 exhibitors at the show, and NBAA unveiled a new category of its Flying Safety Awards: the Scheduler and Licensed Dispatcher Safety Award, which will be presented for the first time in 2016.
“This conference gets more dynamic, more informative and more rewarding every year,” said NBAA’s Jo Damato, NBAA’s director of educational development and strategy. “That’s all because of the active involvement of our attendees and the leadership of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee. This event always brings out the vitality and dedication of our community.”
This was the 26th year since the show’s debut in 1989. Meridian’s own Bob Platten has been there since the beginning. “I remember standing in a room with about 25 people from the industry, and we were asking ourselves, ‘What do we want this to be?’ Twenty-five years later, the educational component has expanded tremendously, attendance has grown to almost 3,000 people from companies based all over the world, and the networking opportunities are boundless. It’s really amazing to see how the show has evolved over the years, and I am really glad to be a part of this important event.”
Next year’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016) is scheduled for Jan. 19 to 22 in Tampa, FL.

Aircraft Management General Private Air Charter

Meridian Exhibits at S&D’s 25th Anniversary

Team Meridian at Schedulers & Dispatchers 2014 in New Orleans. Pictured from left to right are Bob Platten, Phil Boyer, Amber Salvatore, Jamie Labocki, Mike Moore, Emil Iannone, Kirk Stephen, and Anthony Banome.
Team Meridian at Schedulers & Dispatchers 2014 in New Orleans.
Pictured from left to right are Bob Platten, Phil Boyer, Amber Salvatore, Jamie Labocki, Mike Moore, Emil Iannone, Kirk Stephen, and Anthony Banome.

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, was proud to exhibit at the 2014 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2014), which was held in New Orleans, LA, last week. The company was well-represented by eight associates from various departments, including Charter Operations, Charter Sales, Aircraft Management, FBO Fuel Sales, and Marketing. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the conference, which broke attendance records measured by both registrants and exhibitors. A record 2,671 attended the four-day event, and a record 495 exhibitors participated in the event. “We are thrilled by the momentum this show has gained through the years,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president, operational excellence and professional development. “This conference is always high-energy, and this year’s exhibitors and attendees were clearly excited to be in New Orleans to get down to business, share ideas and learn from one another.”

Interestingly enough, Meridian’s own Bob Platten was among the handful of people to attend the first event held 25 years ago. Mr. Platten says, “I can’t believe how much things have changed from then until now. Twenty-five years ago, there were about 60 of us standing in a room and asking ourselves, ‘What do we want this thing to be?’. Now we look around this convention hall, and we see over 2,600 people who are networking and conducting business. It’s great to see how far this has come.”

Adding to the significance of the event, Jamie Labocki, a Meridian Air Charter dispatcher, was among an elite group of recipients to receive the 2014 Schedulers & Dispatchers Training Scholarship Award. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and its Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Committee recognized the 12 recipients of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Training Scholarships at the show. These training awards promote the career development of current and aspiring schedulers and dispatchers. The Schedulers & Dispatchers Training Scholarship Program, initiated in 2004, offers opportunities for scholarship recipients to gain access to hands-on teaching initiatives.

The Schedulers & Dispatcher’s Conference is the business aviation industry’s premier event for schedulers, dispatchers and their suppliers. The conference provides exhibitors the opportunity to meet the individuals who are directly responsible for the scheduling and dispatching of aircraft and procuring services for aircraft operations for flight departments and on-demand charter operations throughout the world.

Next year’s S&D Conference is scheduled for February 3-6, 2015, in San Jose, CA.

General Private Air Charter

Meridian Exhibits at NBAA 23rd Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

Team Meridian at S&D (From left to right: Andrew Ladouceur, John Frangipani, Stalin Fernandez, Mike Moore, Anthony Banome, Phil Boyer, and Kirk Stephen)

Teterboro, NJ – The NBAA held its 23rd Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Conference in San Diego, CA from January 15 -18, 2012. The annual event provides NBAA members an opportunity to meet the individuals who are directly responsible for the scheduling and dispatching of aircraft at flight departments of all sizes throughout the world. Meridian was one of 425 companies that participated in the industry event as an exhibitor, and was represented by seven Meridian Air Charter associates in attendance.

The conference, which was held in the San Diego Convention Center, included over 30 education sessions that were developed to educate and inspire attendees. The Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference is designed to benefit all members of flight departments who share the responsibilities of scheduling and/or dispatching business aircraft, including dedicated schedulers and dispatchers and other influencers and decision makers – including chief pilots, directors and department managers. Exhibitors must be members of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in good standing, and exhibits are limited to products and services directly involved with scheduling and dispatching business aircraft.