Washington, DC, January 20, 2012 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that its 23rd Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference wrapped up in San Diego, CA, with a record 407 Exhibitors, as well as 2,536 registered Attendees over the course of the three-day event in the southern California city.
"The importance of the work done by schedulers and dispatchers to ensure business aviation operates smoothly and safely cannot be overstated," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "This year's conference again demonstrated the critical role of these professionals, and the need for an event that brings them together to share information and best practices. We are delighted with the strong participation we've seen at the event by Attendees and Exhibitors alike."
Bolen added that the attendance figure for this year's conference marks its second-highest turnout, an 11-percent increase over the 2011 event.
Event organizers reported packed rooms at many of the more than 30 educational sessions, where schedulers and dispatchers networked and learned new skills with others in the profession.
The rich aviation history of San Diego, and in particular the city's time as the home to the U.S. Navy's TOPGUN flight training program inspired the theme of this year's event, "Pushing the Envelope: Beyond All Limits." Conference chairman Chad Hartke said the forward-looking attitude evoked by the theme was reflected at the show.
"Obviously, business aviation has faced significant headwinds in recent years," Hartke noted, "but I think this show demonstrated that things are slowly turning around. The economy seems to be trending in the right direction, and people's enthusiasm at the conference reflected the cautiously optimistic outlook held by people in many corners of the industry."
The conference keynote address was given by Retired U.S. Air Force pilot Major Brian Shul, who spoke of battling back from significant injuries after being shot down during the Vietnam War to flying the vaunted SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft. "He was the best keynote speaker we've ever had," Hartke said of Shul. "His message related well to the audience."
As attendees of this year's conference start making their way home, it's not too early to begin planning for next year's show. The 24th Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference will be held in San Antonio, TX from January 21 through January 25, 2013.
To review presentations from the 2012 conference, and to download the event's mobile app, visit http://www.nbaa.org/sdc/2012.