FT. ATKINSON, WI, MARCH 23, 2011 – Some 250 exhibiting companies and more than 3,000 industry representatives took part in a revitalized Cygnus Aviation Expo (formerly Aviation Industry Expo) in February in Las Vegas that featured an expanded educational forum for aviation service companies, an “international fl avor” Maintenance Skills Competition hosted by the AMTSociety, presentation of the Ground Support Leader of the Year Awards, and the popular Spring Training Week hosted by the National Air Transportation Association.

“It is all about bringing buyers and sellers together in a forum that enhances business while also offering an array of educational sessions to help attendees advance their career aspirations,” comments Cygnus Aviation executive vice president Patrick Nadler. “We did that in 2011, and plan on building on this year’s success with an even more exciting event in 2012.”

“It’s about ROI (return on investment) and we will be back,” comments one attendee. Says another, “It’s great to see the diversifi ed aviation market under one roof. I have a broader spectrum of duties and this show matches that.” During the Expo, Cygnus Aviation held a series of focus group discussions with more than 200 attendees to explore ways to make the show even more robust in 2012.

The Expo was preceded by a new one-day management training seminar focused on technical personnel who are promoted from the line, be it at a repair station, fi xed base operator, or ground support company. Trainers from ServiceElements and Global Jet Services, Inc. conducted the well-received session that will return for the 2012 Expo.

Also popular with attendees and exhibitors was a new evening networking event that featured a Ford F-150 “giveaway”, won by Cordell LaBrier, president of Ideal Aviation, Inc. of the St. Louis Downtown Airport.

Ground Support WorldWide magazine hosted a special luncheon as it awarded its annual Ground Support Leaders of the Year Awards, with Lifetime Achievement honors going to Patrick O’Brien of MCM Engineering. (The list of winners is available at

And, AMTSociety, the trade association which represents aviation technicians, hosted its 4th Annual Maintenance Skills Competition which was the largest competition to date with 26 teams, representing four countries and a total of 130 professionals. Teams were divided into fi ve separate categories: Commercial Aviation, General Aviation, Schools, MRO/OEM, and Military.

Each team competed in 12 events, ranging from safety wiring to electrical/avionic troubleshooting to composite and engine tasks. This year’s competition saw new entrants from Boeing, Alaska Airlines, UPS, and the Association of Maintenance Professionals (AMP), Hurlburt Air Force Base, and a team of AMEs that comprised Team Mexico. This year’s William F. O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance was presented to Southwest Airlines for the fastest overall time. * * *

Cygnus Aviation Expo is produced by Cygnus Aviation, a division of Cygnus Business Media, Inc., parent of Ground Support WorldWide, airport business, and Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazines, as well as the AMTSociety. More information is available at