The National Business Aviation Assoc. reported robust participation at its 61st Annual Meeting and Convention, which was held October 6-8 in Orlando, Fla. Organizers counted 30,811 attendees who represented a variety of disciplines in the business aviation field.
Although fixed-wing executive aircraft and equipment accounted for the majority of interest at the NBAA convention, the corporate helicopter community was also well represented. AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky brought examples of popular executive helicopters, such as the AW139, 407, EC130 and S-76. A mock-up of the Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor and its training simulator were on hand, as were companies such as Aviall, Flight Safety International and Rolls Royce.
Exhibitor participation was generally strong with 1,183 vendors displaying aircraft and other wares throughout the venue’s one million-sq-ft of floor space; virtually all of the exhibition area available at the Orange County Convention Center’s main building. Attendees could also take a short shuttle bus ride to nearby Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), where 139 aircraft were on static display and open for inspection.
Harrison Ford, helicopter pilot and star of the Indiana Jones movies, stopped past the convention center to show his support for Young Eagles, a program that provides nearly 100,000 children each year with their first aircraft ride. Ford is the chairman.
NBAA’s 62nd Annual Meeting will also be held in Orlando, October 20-22, 2009.