Popular Refrain: 'It is what it is'

Annual show of shows is subdued ... yet, a recent upturn in business brings optimism

The bad news is, says Aviation Week group online managing editor Benét Wilson, there is no handbook with step by step instructions on how best to use social media tools.

“It’s trial and error,” says Wilson. “For me, [social media] is reaching out into a community that I am already in, but digging deeper than I could otherwise.”

NBAA communications manager Patrick Dunne relates that the association has been utilizing social networking with its Air Mail lists before social networking was even a term. With regard to modern e-networking, “We have launched onto Twitter and we have Facebook pages; we use that to weigh in on the conversations that are going on about business aviation,” says Dunne.

“Aviation is a community, and a family,” says manager of marketing communications for Cutter Aviation Ryan Keough. “We are a group of people that are separated by miles and miles — how can we unite more than 30,000 locations and people across the country, and do it so they aren’t taking a lot of time out of their schedule to do so?”

That’s social media, says Keough. By viewing status updates on Twitter and Facebook, “You are seeing your fellow colleagues talking about their day-to-day business, and what they are doing to improve the industry and their own businesses,” remarks Keough. “It’s that exchange of ideas...we benefit from each other’s knowledge and information.”

Another aspect of social media relates to how customers use social platforms to critique, criticize, or express gratitude towards a particular business or individual. The panelists on NBAA’s e-media session all agreed, apart from using social media to keep customers of a broad online audience informed in a noninvasive manner, companies can also keep an eye on what is said about them — and in turn, confront and address directly potential negative perceptions about a business or the industry.

Ultimately, comments Mark, “The way people gather information is changing, and as a business, if you don’t want to share information that people want answers to, they are going to go around you.

“Social media is about stimulating the conversation; the value and power of the message is not defined by the company anymore — it’s defined by the customers.”

Breakthrough Fueling Technologies

  • Garsite’s new stainless steel inner linings for double-wall above ground fuel storage tanks are changing the market, says Garsite’s Paul Sundby. “We have raised the standard for tanks; and for the same price,” says Sundby.
    The stainless steel inner linings replace traditional epoxy-coated lined tanks resulting in improved longevity and operational reliability, according to the company. The stainless steel linings preserve the full integrity of the fuel tanks while also providing a maintenance-free interior.
  • FuelerLinx compares contract fuel prices, and direct FBO prices, at any quantity, at any airport, according to the company. It then dispatches the fuel release and reconciles the fuel invoices. Additionally, the software produces detail reporting which incorporates ramp fees, posted retail price, catering charges, taxes, ITP fees, etc.
    “When a flight department begins the process of planning a trip, they often have the cumbersome task of contacting various fuel suppliers to determine the best cost of fuel for each fueling segment,” president Kevin Moller explains. “FuelerLinx works with more than 25 fuel vendors as well as FBO direct locations to find the lowest fuel price automatically at any IATA/IOCA location worldwide.”
  • FuelMaster’s Automated Data Capture (ADC) system can handle complete fueling data acquisition, calculate real-time temperature compensation, and locally pre-authorize credit cards all in an easy-to-use handheld device. The product is a solution for problems encountered while performing vehicle or tank fueling operations at remote sites, says the company.

NBAA news in brief ...
airbp — launches a new customer rewards program, Bravo, that offers over 45 million merchandise options, including a concierge service to help customers obtain custom items. Free membership; available at AirBP dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

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