NBAA 2016 – vitality, activity, enthusiasm, innovation

The NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) returned to Orlando for the first three days of November. Held at the Orange County Convention Centre and at Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), the show is simply the biggest event of its kind in the world.

There were few substantial announcements from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The biggest headlines were generated by the choice of Safran’s Silvercrest to power the Cessna Citation Hemisphere and the long-awaited FAA certification of the Cirrus SF50 just a few days before the show. There was also a dearth of new orders.

However the scale was impressive – 1,100 exhibitors, 27,000 visitors, a sold-out static display of some 114 aircraft at ORL and the largest-ever indoor static display at the convention centre, showcasing nine fixed-wing airplanes and six helicopters. There were also significant debuts – Swiss manufacturer Pilatus’ PC-24, Gulfstream’s new G500 and Piper’s M600 turbo single. In addition, Cessna displayed the prototype Citation Longitude just weeks after the type’s first flight.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said: “The activity level was high, and the enthusiasm was strong. Equally important, the show provided a reminder of the industry’s size and significance in the US, and around the world.”

This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of industry greats Bob Hoover and golfer Arnold Palmer. As usual the show included sessions with federal policy makers and regulators. It also featured a host of educational events and a focus on young people and careers in business aviation. Next year’s convention will be in Las Vegas from 10-12 October.

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