NASHVILLE, TENN., March 12, 2014 -- Nearly 1,500 avionics manufacturers, dealers, installers and other general aviation professionals have converged at the 57th annual Aircraft Electronics Association International Convention & Trade Show, which opened today at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The four-day event takes place March 12-15, and it is the largest gathering of avionics manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations in the world.
The AEA Convention is the preeminent venue dedicated solely to the general aviation avionics industry. Not open to the public, this event's primary focus is providing avionics professionals with educational and marketing opportunities between equipment manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations. The general aviation avionics community knows the AEA Convention is a must-attend gathering for growing their businesses, training their technicians and meeting with their dealer network.
The city of Nashville, Tenn., plays host to this year's event. Avionics professionals will experience the following highlights during the week, just to name a few.
- The event is the platform of choice for the introduction of several new avionics products coming to market this year.
- Repair station attendees will be updated on the NextGen GA Fund to accelerate the rollout of NextGen by providing access to quick, affordable financial incentives to aid aircraft owners.
- The AEA Avionics Market Report will be updated to reflect the monetary size of the general aviation avionics market.
- More than 75 hours of regulatory, technical and business management training and professional development.
- The AEA's Fast Traks and Technical Training workshops are approved for credit toward the AEA's Avionics Training Excellence Award, as well as accepted for FAA IA renewal and the AMT Awards Program.
- An Exhibit Hall filled with the latest avionics technologies and more than 135 exhibitors.
- The latest regulatory updates with international agency personnel.
- Repair station members may invite customers into the AEA Exhibit Hall as part of the first "Bring Your Customer Day" on Saturday, March 15.
- More than $125,000 in scholarships awarded to avionics and aviation maintenance students.
- Recognition of the 2014 AEA Member of the Year Award recipient.
- Recognition of the 2014 AEA Associate Member of the Year Award recipient.
- Live-streaming on the AEA website of the AEA Opening Ceremonies, New Product Introductions and live Exhibit Hall coverage.
- Free Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification and endorsement exams to convention attendees, courtesy of the AEA Educational Foundation and its partnership with the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT) and ASTM International. Attendees may test their knowledge in achieving the NCATT's highly regarded avionics technician certification, and this $100 value is only available through the AEA at the convention.
OFFICIAL OPENING AND NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTIONS LIVE-STREAMING
One of the most popular sessions each year is the AEA Opening Ceremonies, sponsored by Universal Avionics Systems Corp., and the AEA New Product Introductions. This must-see event takes place Thursday, March 13, and it continues to draw the attention of the entire general aviation community. This year is no different, as the Aero-News Network will be live-streaming the AEA Opening Ceremonies and New Product Introductions for the fifth straight year.
In addition, each NPI presentation will be syndicated to dozens of popular E-media and aviation websites, such as YouTube, and ANN will produce live programming throughout the week and conduct high-tech interviews from the AEA Exhibit Hall floor for even greater exposure.
Sean D. Tucker, famous aerobatic pilot and honorary chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program, will be the keynote speaker during the AEA Opening Ceremonies.
AEA AWARDS LUNCHEON
The 2014 AEA Member of the Year and Associate Member of the Year will be announced during the annual AEA Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 14, sponsored by Pacific Southwest Instruments. Last year's winners were Kent McIntyre of Bevan-Rabell, who was named the 2013 AEA Member of the Year; and Sandia Aerospace, named the 2013 AEA Associate Member of the Year.
The nominees for the 2014 AEA Member of the Year are:
- Ron Hainsworth, Gulfstream Aerospace
- Michael Kus, Avionics 2000 Pty. Ltd.
- Michael Schooley, Southeast Aerospace Inc.
- Jimmy Temple, Temple Electronics Co.
- Brian Wilson, Banyan Air Service
The nominees for the 2014 Associate Member of the Year are:
- Astronics AES
- Dallas Avionics
- FreeFlight Systems
- PS Engineering
- Rockwell Collins
- Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
"The AEA is thrilled to be in Nashville for our 57th International Convention & Trade Show," said Paula Derks, AEA president. "Our attendees will have the opportunity to network with their industry peers and keep up-to-date with industry trends by seeing new products with the major suppliers under one roof. In this new world of social media, text messaging, emailing and webinars, one thing remains constant: Our attendees still want to see, touch and talk product face-to-face."