RENO, Nev., March 25, 2011 - The city of Reno, Nev., brands itself as "The Biggest Little City in the World," and it was definitely a little bigger this week as nearly 1,400 avionics manufacturers, dealers, installers and other general aviation professionals gathered March 22-25 at the 54th annual Aircraft Electronics Association International Convention & Trade Show at the Grand Sierra Resort.
The four-day event featured:
• More than 30 new avionics products and systems being introduced.
• More than 75 hours of technical and business management training sessions.
• An Exhibit Hall filled with the latest avionics technologies.
• The latest regulatory updates with international agency personnel.
• More than $100,000 in scholarships awarded to avionics and aviation maintenance students.
• Unique social events and networking opportunities with industry colleagues.
• Recognition of Ron Hall, former employee of Duncan Aviation, as the recipient of the 2011 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award.
• Recognition of Gunter Hemmel of Avionik Straubing GmbH, recipient of the 2011 AEA Member of the Year Award.
• Recognition of Garmin as the recipient of the 2011 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award.
• Annual Awards Luncheon with special guest speaker John Nance, aviation analyst for ABC World News.
• Live streaming across the Internet on the AEA website of the New Product Introductions session and Exhibit Hall live coverage, courtesy of the Aero-News Network.
• Free Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification and endorsement exams to attendees, in partnership with the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT).
• Lowell Gaylor Memorial Golf Tournament, which raised new dollars for future academic scholarships to be awarded to students through the AEA Educational Foundation.
"Our members reported definite signs of improved business activity," said Paula Derks, president of the AEA. "The general aviation industry has not been immune to the economic realities facing our country and the international community. However, our member government-certified repair stations, avionics manufacturers and distributors had a very positive and productive four days networking and sharing new ideas on how to grow their businesses. The mood throughout the week was very positive across the board in our training sessions, the Exhibit Hall and our social events. The new products introduced this week are wonderful news for the general aviation industry, and I expect we will see an improved economic environment in the months ahead."
The AEA convention is the preeminent venue dedicated solely to the general aviation avionics industry. Not open to the public, the event's primary focus is to provide avionics professionals with educational and marketing opportunities between equipment manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations. The general aviation avionics community knows the AEA International Convention & Trade Show is a must-attend gathering for growing their businesses, training their technicians and meeting with their customers.
The AEA convention moves to the East Coast next year, as the event will take place in Washington, D.C., April 3-6, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort.