Las Vegas NBAA

….recovering after the NBAA convention….AKA ‘Bunfight at the Bizjet Corral’
This time I was there primarily as the publisher of Bizjet Advisor magazine…www.bizjetadvisor.com ….enough shameless self-promotion (did someone mention a certain jet broker in Colorado ?…lol)

As we all know, there are any number of conflicting aphorisms and… “bigger isn’t always better” / “size matters” come to mind when describing the annual NBAA convention.
All of the big boys were there…Gulfstream, Boeing, Bombardier, FalconJet etc….yet there seems to have been a lot of hustle and bustle, but not much else, attendance and booth occupancy numbers notwithstanding.

A sassy press conference featuring a fractional provider announcing a ‘firm order’ for an as yet to be comprehensively-designed and in-production/revolutionary natural laminar flow-winged (phew !) supersonic bizjet only points to the shallow reserves of headline grabbing events at the show.

Let’s face it, the only ‘economic (turbine) engine’ that’s firing on more than a couple of burner cans at present, is the USA…..this is not saying too much about the health of the bizjet industry in general.

I must say, I was really impressed by the quality and quantity of the show-side afternoon alcohol-fueled events. These bashes are taking on more of the carnival-type atmosphere usually associated with LABACE (or Louisiana..bring back NBAA New Orleans !!!)…..speaking of which, I dropped by the Aruba Registry booth on the second day…an absolute gas !…I had my photo taken with Elvis (yes, he is still alive and, big scoop…. Elvis has just ordered a fractional supersonic share from the natural laminar flow crowd) and another photo with a curvy and voluptuous (is that redundant ?) carnival dancer, whose smile and entreaty had me believe that I was the only special fossil at the show.

….On to a more serious topic that I hope generates some feedback on other blogs and in the mainstream; In addition to the aphorisms atop this blog article, I have had numerous conversations with equally bizjet-convention-exhausted individuals…and even some (who cannot be named) OEM senior bods who all seem to be “singin’ the same refrain”….”stop this carnival !!!”.

The frequency of the ‘annual’ NBAA Convention needs to be re-evaluated. We used to endure/enjoy a couple of such shows per year…now it seems as though every PT Barnum-in-training wants to conjure up a bizjet show…all in the name of promoting ‘business jet use’ around the world…a bizjet show in Morocco ?…okay okay, I’m sure I’ll hear it from the AfBAA, but that part of the world has yet to learn the root of the word ‘transparency’ and is presently busy off-loading large-cabin (and other) jets, primarily as a result of the newly incumbent Nigerian president’s ‘oversight’ of the bizjet sector…(much like a similar situation, in the Orient).

This US NBAA bizjet lovefest needs to be trimmed back, much like California poppies, to a biennial event. The sheer logistical challenges and calendar-conflict amongst regional bizjet events points to a more favorable timing that would improve advance planning and allow for more frequent appearances by far-flung vendors….and greater attendance numbers…not to mention reduced “show-fatigue”.

Obviously, there is a stakeholder in this present setup that would not take too kindly to the above-suggested scenario. It’s probably about time to engage an outside audit of this entity and request an independent evaluation of the efficacy of the bizjet world’s “annual” event.

Do I hear a drumbeat ?

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