The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) concluded its popular 2010 Air Charter Summit earlier this week with significant increases in attendance and sponsorship support. Participation in the 2010 NATA Air Charter Summit was up 50% over last year and included a record number of overall event sponsors and table top display sponsors. NATA President James K. Coyne said, "I am excited by the strong turnout of this year's Air Charter Summit. We have seen an increase in attendance at all of our events so far this year, and the Summit was no exception."
The Summit has quickly become the on-demand air charter industry's most popular event with its wide array of business, regulatory and legislative topics on issues affecting the aviation community at-large. This year's summit included a robust agenda with issues that touched on all facets of the Part 135 and 91k communities, including state taxes, federal excise taxes, the economic forecast for the industry, an FAA regulatory update with the agency's top leadership, charter brokering, the latest on the Large Aircraft Security Program, and a flight, duty and rest update as well as a fractional ownership leadership session.
Andy Cebula of Sensis Corporation and Paul Fontaine with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ADS-B office kicked off the program with a discussion on NextGen. Fontaine opened with the comment that they had done the NextGen program a disservice at the outset by estimating that it would be 2025 before the program would be completed. He went on to outline the implementation plan with a goal to have 320 ground stations finished before the end of the year and 800 completed by 2013. Cebula ended the session by telling attendees that the FAA is seeking input from the industry on NextGen and advising them to participate in this process.
John J. Hickey, Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, began the FAA regulatory review session by thanking NATA for recognizing the South Florida FSDO and flight instructor Arlynn McMahon with NATA Industry Excellence Awards. He said that NATA's survey on FAA regulatory interpretation inconsistencies is helping the agency discover areas in need of standardization.
Tuesday evening, well-known Olympian, aviation business owner and accomplished pilot Bruce Jenner gave an inspirational presentation on his Olympic experience, tying it into the success of America's aviation businesses. Jenner also made himself available to writers from NATA's Aviation Business Journal (ABJ) magazine. Look for the interview in the third quarter issue of ABJ.
"This year's Summit provided an outstanding forum for speakers to highlight some of the most pressing issues confronting the charter industry," Coyne concluded. "The large jump in registration and sponsorship support is a clear indicator that the Air Charter Summit is becoming a must-book-event on the calendar of Part 135 operators large and small."
Visit www.nata.aero/acs for copies of presentations as well as links to sponsors and display companies from the 2010 NATA Air Charter Summit.