Training Highlights 49th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show

More than 1,650 avionics shop owners, managers and technicians, as well as manufacturers of avionics, instruments, airframe and test equipment, converged on Palm Springs, Calif., for the 49th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show from April...


Palm Springs, Calif. — More than 1,650 avionics shop owners, managers and technicians, as well as manufacturers of avionics, instruments, airframe and test equipment, converged on Palm Springs, Calif., for the 49th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show from April 19-22.

In addition to the three-day AEA Trade Show, which featured more than 140 exhibitors and 225 booth spaces, the Aircraft Electronics Association offered more than 75 hours of training opportunities during the four-day convention, and hundreds of AEA Training Certification forms were completed throughout the week.

The AEA Convention began April 19 with all-day Fast Trak sessions, ranging from in-depth technical sessions, such as "Communicating Human Factors Information in a Clear and Usable Manner" with Dr. Bill Johnson of the FAA and "Repair Station Training Program: Management" with Ric Peri of the AEA, to the new Business Management Series, which included "Aviation Customer Service and Communication" with David Benoff of Global Jet Services and "Marketing Fundamentals" with Dr. Beth Hagan of Associates in Entrepreneurship Education.

On April 21, the annual Rise & Shine Regulatory Roundtable, presented by Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, provided a review and update of the latest regulatory issues affecting technicians and repair stations.

A highlight every year at the annual convention is the "New Products" session, and this year was no exception with 32 new products introduced by 32 different companies. The June issue of Avionics News will feature information on each of the new products introduced during the AEA International Convention.

OPENING CEREMONIES

AEA Chairman Michael O’Leary welcomed the hundreds of convention attendees to the show during the AEA International Convention Opening Ceremonies on April 20, at the Wyndham Hotel in Palm Springs. In addition, AEA President Paula Derks spoke on the state of the industry and encouraged individuals to contact their government representatives to express concerns regarding user fees for the general aviation industry.

Derks also honored Rachel Ronan, Avionics News editor and AEA creative director, with a special recognition during the ceremonies. Ronan was lauded for her many months of work in creating the AN510 Gallery, a special exhibit that was part of the AEA Trade Show in the Palm Springs Convention Center. The AN510 Gallery featured full-size replicas of each of the Avionics News magazine's 510 issues in which visitors would walk through the display showcasing the history of the association and the magazine.

Scholarship Awards and Avionics Training Excellence winners also were announced during the Opening Ceremonies, which featured Barry Schiff, retired Lockheed 1011 captain for TWA and AOPA Pilot columnist, as the keynote speaker.

One of the ceremony's highlights was the presentation of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to John Winter of Mid-Continent Instruments for his many contributions to the avionics industry throughout the years.

Tom Greer of Southern Avionics, the 2005 AEA Member of the Year, and representatives from EDMO Distributors, 2005 Associate Member of the Year, cut the ribbon to officially open the AEA Trade Show exhibit hall on April 21 — and the crowds followed. In conjunction with the trade show, the AEA Educational Foundation hosted its annual Silent Auction, which raised nearly $25,000 for the foundation's scholarship awards program, according to Mike Adamson, AEA director of training and education.

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