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  • October 14, 2020 2:50 PM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    Embraer Executive Jets CEO Michael Amalfitano has gone from daily crisis management meetings to seeing clear signs of an improving market, driven by those who have never tried business aviation before, according to remarks he made to CFBAA members during the October Speakers Series moderated by Offland Media CEO Chris Quiocho.

    Amalfitano said first-time buyers during a normal market would constitute about 10-15% of prospects but in today’s market is at 50%.

    Signs of Recovery

    “We all know we had a dip but no one is talking about the activity we are seeing and the fact we have already rebounded to 2019 levels and fractional ownership is up 12% beyond 2019,” he said in the first CFBAA Speaker Series webinar which was sponsored by Viasat. “We are seeing a strong resurgence in interest in the U.S. and Western Europe. A few things stand out with first-time buyers, the most important of which is they want fewer touch points compared to the airport, security, gate lounges, aircraft and rental car experience with airline travel. They are saying they’ll be more confident if there are fewer touch points and that’s the experience they have with private aviation.”

    He noted several trends including the flights booked are shorter in distance and data suggesting a shift away from airlines to private aviation to meet short-term travel needs. There is strong evidence this recovery is starting from the entry-level jets.

    Teams Are On the Road

    “Our sales teams are active now, increasing engagement with customers and demonstrating our aircraft across the country,” he told members. “We recognize a flurry of activity from first-time prospects and this has driven a new way to engage with customers. These new customers require a lot of education not just about what is important to their health and security, which is currently peaking their interest, but about all the choices available to them and the business case for business aviation.”

    Amafitano also noted Covid challenges manufacturers to find personalized solutions for education and sales. To that end it has created a series of 12 videos called Beyond the Wings showcasing the technology used for health and safety but also to educate the market beyond those in business aviation. In addition, it is creating invitation-only webinars giving customers and flight departments open access to company experts who are not normally in the process.

    “This virtual engagement has only 10-12 prospects who have access to our technical experts such as our chief engineer,” he explained. “The audience can interact with experts to ask questions about why something was designed or how customers drive design. You have to make it personal and do something you cannot do in person. It becomes and personal connection with the company, something we are missing during the pandemic.”

    EEJ also posted virtual tours of aircraft on its You Tube Channel.

    “Our four-minute Praetor tour has already had 160,000 views,” he noted. “You also have to remember to give back by stressing our commitment to pivoting our company to manufacturing medical supplies. Our seat manufacturer in Titusville, our facilities in Portugal, the U.K. and Brazil all manufactured to support PPE and then were transported on our KC-390 cargo aircraft.”

    Indeed, that is what drove the creation of the company’s Phenom 300 Medevac configuration. EEJ is using digital tools to explain health and safety considerations such as the HEPA filters deployed in business aviation and how air is circulated aboard aircraft.

    “This is important because a 2019 survey of millennials showed 79% are loyal to those companies that demonstrate how much they care about their customers and the environment,” he explained. “In addition, half of consumers have changed their habits to benefit the environment. The technology we have in business aviation is about sustainability and that trend will only increase. Sustainable Aviation Fuels are getting a lot of attention, but we want to go beyond that to create a sustainability platform taking care of all aspects of aircraft and operations.”

    Asked whether the shift from commercial to business aviation will be sustained, Amalfitano said the pandemic is reshaping travel.

    “We may see a reduction in travel but that human need to connect will always be there,” he said. “Some connections can be handled digitally but there are many decisions and trends impacting how people will travel. Right now, the paradigm shift is more anecdotal such as more cards being sold than normal but we are working to sustain that. We may see a shift from commercial to business but the courage and resilience we see in the marketplace is a big part of it. Buyers have a real fascination with technology, on health and safety, on sustainability. We are able to deploy that faster to the market than airlines.

    “Our OEMs are healthier. The question is how to sustain it once commercial has recovered,” he continued. “That is why we have our Pulse Concept to create the travel concepts of the future which can come to market faster. You can’t do that in the commercial arena. It’s a different world out there and it is our intention to lead from the front.”

    It all comes down to confidence, he told CFBAA members. “We have to build a track record of confidence,” he concluded. “We have to provide education that allows them to be more confident in making the decision to buy a jet card or a new aircraft. Communications is a big part as we adapt to a different world. If the market sees you walk the talk, it starts to have confidence that allows for a systemic shift that is more long lasting. We have to stop focusing on what is normal. Instead we have to make our own normal.”

  • October 14, 2020 10:45 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    Three weeks in training, three weeks away from home, three weeks avoiding people in restaurants, and three weeks of mask wearing, hotel living consumed my September. But I wouldn’t change it for anything because I love learning new things, meeting new friends, and interacting with highly skilled aviation professionals. Anyone that has been through a new aircraft type rating know the marathon it can be trying to consume the vast amount of information, grasp the concepts incorporated in operating the plane, and apply all the past flying skills learned. The first week is exciting, the second week begins to drag, and by the end of the third week I was ready to be home. But overall the experience was great by spending time interacting with other pilots, listening to their stories, and hearing about the status of our industry.

    One of the reasons I love participating in the Central Florida Business Aviation Association is the same, interacting with professionals from our industry. As I write this, I am sitting in a new Praetor watching Michael Almalfitano, CEO of Embraer Executive Jets, talk about comeback of business aviation and future developments. Please join us with our other speakers over the next couple of months as they share their visions and current operations. Come out to  our first “in person” meet up on January 15th  at Orlando Executive Airport which is being sponsored by Bombardier and plug into our monthly Happy Hours on the last Thursday of each month.

    We invite you to join us share our message and build our membership for even better networking. One of our new initiatives this year is including more young professionals, and students, in the association. A new scholarship team is being organized and we have offered college students free membership to CFBAA while they attend school. Sharing what we have learned over the years with the next generations will ensure success for business aviation over many years.

    After the three weeks of trying to sip water from a fire hose, we passed our check rides and sent home to apply our knowledge. Any pilot will know the true learning happens when you begin operating the airplane, and that is happening. A true aviation professional continues learning, is always curious, and embraces relationships. This describes our goal at CFBAA and thank you for your participation and support. Come walk with us as we share our industry with young and old in Florida. 

    David Keys, President

  • October 14, 2020 10:40 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    The Central Florida Business Aviation Association (CFBAA) hosted its inaugural Safety Standdown September 24th. Owing to COVID-19, the event transitioned to virtual rather than the planned in-person event anticipated in May 2020. The virtual event was hosted by the CEO of Offland Media, Chris Quiocho, and included four speakers across two sessions.

    The President and CEO of NBAA, Ed Bolen, covered the industry's state and recent NBAA affairs and initiatives. Mr. Bolen highlighted industry needs during COVID-19

    "Focus on working together to make sure that we, as individuals and companies, are creating and living a culture of safety," Bolen told CFBAA participants. Bolen further elaborated that COVID-19 has provided us the opportunity for organizational outreach and increased communications on lessons learned and best practices.

    Bolen said sustainability, a key goal for business aviation, comes across many faucets, including sustainable aviation fuel, that will offer our industry the ability to reduce its environmental footprint significantly. It was noted that the aviation industry has positioned itself to thrive, not only in a COVID environment but to focus on what comes next. 

    Dr. Daniel Gilday of Aircare International reviewed COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, prevention, and anticipation of vaccines, predicting a COVID "resurgence" particularly in pockets in higher prone areas as the Fall and Winter season progresses. Dr. Gilday also provided a focus on specific COVID-19 operational considerations for business aviation operators.

    CEO of KB Solutions Kodey Bogart, provided a foundation of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and how an organization can systematically mitigate safety risks before they result in aviation accidents and incidents. Bogart emphasized that a reporting system's success depends entirely on the continuous flow of information from and feedback to the organization and individuals. She emphasized an organization's voluntary reporting is key to a predictive, proactive safety program as it is an indicator that the company has a positive safety culture.

    "SMS is a journey; it is not a check in the box and is not something that is started today and completed tomorrow," she reminded attendees.

    IS-BAO Program Director Bennett Walsh, discussed the benefits of adhering to a higher safety standard, such as the IS-BAO program. Walsh reviewed IS-BAO updates, COVID-19 temporary procedures, and IBAC's new FlightPlan Stage 1 program designed to overcome challenges for small operators. The Stage 1 program streamlines audit procedures and standardizes training. He also reviewed the IS-BAO Progressive Stage 3, which is currently in a Beta-Testing phase.

    The CFBAA Safety Standdown event was widely attended across multiple aviation industry organizations, both in the United States and Canada. The event offered attendees the NBAA's Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program credits for continuing education.

  • September 15, 2020 10:46 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    I am writing this on September 11th, and I cannot help but reflect on what took place that day in 2001 when the world stood still. We were in the air that day flying into Atlanta for a day trip when the flight phone rang, and our mechanic informed us that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center and our day-long trip extended as we went to ATC Zero, grounding every aircraft in the sky. Our industry took many years to fully recover but we found out how resilient it is.

    This year we have been dealt a similar blow and once again business aviation is having to adjust how we operate. Companies stopped flying, pilots are being let go, vendors struggle to find sales, trade shows are cancelled, training centers empty, and yet I sense business aviation poised for another comeback.

    But my life reflects one of the green shoots that signals just how important networking is. Just over two weeks ago I was sitting on a demonstration jet with my principals seeing if the plane would better fit their needs. Now, I find myself sitting in ground school learning how to operate a new plane. Within that short time, we agreed to purchase a new business jet and sold our current one to a buyer also in central Florida. While a whirlwind of activity has consumed my world, I find it a positive reflection on the strength of business aviation in the Central Florida area, and business aviation in general.

    I would have never considered offering the new plane to my boss had it not been the relationship built over several years by the regional sales representative for the manufacturer. Similarly, selling our current jet to a local businessman started with a text to a pilot friend whom I have known for years and who was flying the buyer, his boss, at 41,000 feet. Relations with the local maintenance center allowed the pre-buy process to go smoothly.

    As we continue growing the Central Florida Business Aviation Association, I encourage you to become more involved, give back, join committees, join our zoom calls, participate in our Safety Day and build relationships. As one wise aircraft sales rep once said – sales are never made solely on the worth of the aircraft. It is always made on the relationships and trust built over time. Certainly, that is what happened in my case. Who knows when you might sell an airplane to someone you have shared with a zoom happy hour cocktail!

  • September 15, 2020 10:43 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    Leesburg, FL-based Angel Flight Southeast scheduled its annual Veteran’s Day Charity Golf Tournament for November 11 to raise funds for the Corporate Angel Network.

    The 24th annual charity golf tournament will be at Mission Inn’s El Campeon course, one of the top 100 in Florida, a new venue for the event. Just Jets Services President Bill Damm, member of the Angel Flight golf tournament committee and proud sponsor, can help with further information at or cell 407-342-2752.

    “So many fundraising events have been cancelled because of Covid-19 but we are putting precautions in place and are hoping for a big turnout for this worthy event,” said Angel Flight Southeast CEO, Steve Purello. 

    Angel Flight Southeast coordinates free missions with volunteer pilots to fly organ transplant candidates, patients involved in clinical trials, chemotherapy or other recurring treatment, victims of abuse seeking relocation, families receiving help from Ronald McDonald Houses, Shriners Hospitals and many other charities, and disabled or sick children attending special summer camp programs.

    In addition, Angel Flight Southeast offers compassion flights including flying wounded veterans to counseling services and many other humanitarian missions.  There is never a charge to Angel Flight Southeast passengers. Before the impact of COVID-19, Angel Flight Southeast coordinated approximately 86 patient flights each month.

    For more information, including sponsorship opportunities and to sign up, click here.

  • September 15, 2020 10:38 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    Thousands of girls, ages 8-17 around the world, will be able to experience the Sixth Annual Girls in Aviation Day through a new and exclusive Aviation for Girls App that will go live on Saturday, September 26, 2020.

    Women in Aviation International’s Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) will deliver a free, year-round experience for girls ages 8-17 around the world through the launch of a new Aviation for Girls (AFG) App, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. Read more

    Available to all interested in aviation/aerospace and STEM, the AFG App is the tool WAI will provide to deliver valuable content and resources including career videos, virtual museum tours, scholarship information, hands-on activities, book readings in multiple languages, as well as digital issues of Aviation for Girls magazine. And despite the name, girls and boys are both welcome to participate.

    The Aviation for Girls App is available now to download, but the content will be launched on our official Girls in Aviation Day – September 26, 2020. Visit the App Store or Google Play and search for WAI Events. For other devices, including Blackberry and Windows, point your mobile browser to:  

    To learn more.

  • September 15, 2020 10:34 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    In a significant step toward awarding workforce training grants, FAA is requesting comments on its plans for administrating two important workforce grant programs targeted at aviation businesses, government entities and labor organizations to advance aviation career development.

    The $5 million for each of the pilot and AMT workforce programs covers grants ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. FAA has scheduled publication of applications for November. The grants also aim to increase workforce diversity. FAA’s request also describes eligible applicants, overviews the application process and provides example criterion for successful applications.

    Comments are open for pilot grants through September 24 while AMT grant comments must be in September 23.

    The programs were championed by, aviation airline and MRO groups to address critical shortage for pilot, engineer, unmanned systems and aviation maintenance technician training and is required by the Reauthorization Act of 2018.

  • August 23, 2020 9:37 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    The CFBAA Safety Committee is proud to present our members with our first annual Safety Standdown.  Being that safety is the name of the game, this event will be taking place virtually to ensure the safety of all our members.

    Here’s how it’s going work:

    We’re dividing the speakers up into two sessions, morning and afternoon.  We’ve done this to ensure that the maximum number of members are able to join us for at least some part of the Safety Standdown, as well as to avoid online-webinar fatigue.  Each session will have a couple of speakers and is scheduled for 90 minutes.  We welcome and encourage all members to join us for both session if possible.

     When: September 24th, 2020

    • Morning Session: From 10 – 11:30am Eastern
        • Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA – State-of-the-industry and an update on NBAA affairs and initiatives.
        • Dr. Daniel Gilday, Physician & Aviation Telemedical Doctor of Aircare International – COVID-19 operational considerations for business aviation operators.
      • Afternoon Sessions: From 2 – 3:30 pm Eastern    
        • Kodey Bogart, Founder of KB Solutions – Practical and effective SMS program development for your department.
        • Bennet Walsh, IBAC Program Director, IS-BAO – Adhering to a higher safety standards, IS-BAO & Flightplan Stage 1 program.

    How to attend:

    In the next couple of weeks, we’ll provide links to get pre-registered for this event.  Stay tuned!!

    Speakers will include: 

    Ed Bolen – President & CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. Ed will cover the topics facing our industry during these unprecedented times, “a state-of-industry.”  Mr. Bolen will also discuss recent NBAA affairs and initiatives.

    About the speaker:

    Prior to joining NBAA, Bolen was president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) for eight years. Bolen joined GAMA in 1995 as senior vice president and general counsel. GAMA’s board of directors elected him president and CEO in November 1996.

    In 2001, Bolen was appointed by President Bush to serve as a member of the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. Established by Congress, the commission’s objectives were to study and make recommendations on ways to ensure American leadership in aerospace in the 21st century.

    Bolen was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a member of the Management Advisory Council (MAC) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He chaired the council from 2000 to 2004.

    Bolen is a member of the board of directors of the National Aeronautic Association. He also serves on the Aviation Advisory Board of the Mitre Corporation, a federally funded research and development corporation.

    Prior to his association career, Bolen was majority general counsel to what is now the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He also served as legislative director for U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS) and was a key player in the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994.

    Bolen received his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Kansas. He is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Law and holds a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Dr. Daniel Gilday - Emergency Medical Physician at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA and Aviation Telemedical Doctor for Aircare International.

    Dr. Gilday will review COVID-19 symptoms, transmission and prevention, and then pivot to focus on specific COVID-19 operational considerations for business aviation operators. 

    About the speaker:

    Dr. Gilday has been an emergency physician at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia for the past 14 years. He completed training in a combined Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine residency program at Christiana Care Health Systems in Newark, Delaware, where he was a Chief Resident of emergency medicine. Dr. Gilday graduated with honors from University of North Texas Health Science Center – Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also graduated cum laude from University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    When not working in the emergency department or with Aircare International, Dr. Gilday works as the team physician for the Thurston County SWAT team.

    Kodey Bogart – Safety Management Systems SME/Speaker & Founder of KB Solutions, LLC. Through Safety Management Systems (SMS) an organization can proactively mitigate safety risks before they result in aviation accidents and incidents in a more disciplined, integrative and focused manner. Provide an overview of SMS to include the four main pillars and twelve elements. This will encompass processes for identifying any gaps related to an organizations existing SMS elements that may serve as a starting point to identify organizational and operational hazards for an effective implementation.

    About the speaker:

    During Kodey Bogart’s 16-year aviation career she has served in the United States Army and completed a combat tour as a UH-60 Aeromedical Evacuation pilot earning two air medals and a Sikorsky Rescue award. Post-deployment, Kodey earned her CFI, CFII, and ATP. Currently, Kodey works flying law enforcement and helicopter air ambulance and owns KB Solutions, LLC.  KB Solutions, LLC is an aviation consulting firm focusing on Safety Management Systems (SMS) development and implementation.

    Bogart graduated cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics coupled with a minor in Helicopter Safety.    

    Bennet Walsh, IBAC – Program Director, IS-BAO. Mr. Walsh will be joining us to discuss the benefits of adhering to a higher safety standard such as the IS-BAO program.  He’ll review IS-BAO updates as well as discuss IBAC’s new Flightplan Stage 1 program for small operators.

    About the speaker:

    Bennet is a thirdgeneration Aviator with three decades of aviation experience.  He has flown the line in both business & airline operations, and has a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Resource Management.

    Mr. Walsh has also been fortunate to serve in some esteemed organizations in roles such as Senior Vice President of Operations and Safety, Vice President of Flight Operations, Director of Safety, Check Airman, Proficiency Check Pilot, Simulator Instructor, and as an Aviation Systems Auditor conducting both Business Aviation (IS-BAO) and Airline (IOSA) audits worldwide.

    In 2016, Bennet began his current assignment with the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) as the IS-BAO Program Director.

  • August 23, 2020 9:20 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    One year ago, this month, we established the Central Florida Business Aviation Association (CFBAA). Every year I have to pleasure of doing my recurrent training at this time of year, which consists of a mixture of classroom review and simulator flying. The idea is to go over aircraft systems and limitations and be tested on air maneuvers that we typically do not use in our normal day-to-day flying. It is a good chance to crack open the books to refresh our knowledge and evaluate our flying skills. Fortunately, this year’s training went well and it’s helpful when my copilot teaches on the plane we operate.

    Similarly, the one-year anniversary for CFBAA is a great opportunity to look back at some of our accomplishments, reorient ourselves to our mission, and make plans for the upcoming year. Needless to say, a year ago we would have never conceived what this year has thrown at our country and industry. Even with those trials we have far surpassed our expectations. With your help our membership rolls are just under 100, we have some wonderful corporate sponsors, and one of the best Board of Directors (BOD) possible. We are financially secure, thanks to you, and have filed the appropriate paperwork with the state, and soon the IRS, for establishment. With our mission of networking business aviation professionals in the central Florida area we have hosted several Zoom “Happy Hours,” and a Town Hall with Ed Bolen, president of NBAA.

    Looking forward we will continue gathering virtually, including an upcoming speakers’ series with highly respected industry insiders.

    We will be reaching out to our associates in Jacksonville, St Augustine, and Daytona Beach over the next couple of months inviting them to join CFBAA in order to expand our networking. We will be growing our committee membership inviting you to become involved sharing your talents with our community.

    The safety team has planned a standdown September 24 inaugurating our ongoing focus on safety while providing an opportunity for further networking. With so many aviation focused universities in our region we hope to establish an active young professionals community and will be seeking volunteers for that effort.

    As you can see, we have come a long way in one year, we are in a good place given all the challenges and have exciting plans for the future, all because you said yes to joining. While the BOD has carried most of the work it is time to involve even more in the association.

    We are also looking for volunteers for the membership, safety, education and communication committees.  Please consider joining one of our committees or let us know of an initiative that may interest you that we could support. Send your interest to

    When we work together, we build relationships, share experiences, and accomplish great things, just as my sim partner and I did recently. By the way, we passed our check ride, learned a few new things, and had a lot of fun together.

    Until next time,


  • August 23, 2020 9:16 AM | Kathryn Creedy (Administrator)

    ATP and Flightdocs have created one of the largest providers of software solutions and information services within the aviation industry.  With the addition of Flightdocs, ATP will deliver powerful, cloud-based software solutions for aircraft maintenance tracking, troubleshooting, recurring defect analysis, inventory management, and flight scheduling – combined with a robust library of technical publications and regulatory content.  

    “We are very excited to join forces with the team at ATP,” noted Rick Heine, chair and CEO of Flightdocs. “What began as a partnership quickly evolved into a much larger opportunity. By joining ATP, we will be able to create unique products and services that will have a significant impact for our customers, driving efficiencies, reliability, compliance, and safety across the industry.” 

    Founded in 2003, Flightdocs has grown to be the second largest provider of aircraft maintenance tracking and inventory management solutions within business aviation. The company’s long-standing reputation for revolutionary software and best-in-class support has made Flightdocs the number one choice for flight departments around the world. ATP, a company with nearly 50 years of experience, provides aircraft technical publications and regulatory information, connecting more than 45,000 maintenance professionals to the latest OEM content and airworthiness directives. The company’s software division is the leading provider of repetitive defect and troubleshooting applications, focused on reducing operating costs, improving reliability, and supporting technical knowledge sharing. 

    Customers of both ATP and Flightdocs will have access to a comprehensive suite of solutions to support the safe and reliable operation of their aircraft. Already considered to be the most innovative and user-friendly maintenance tracking and inventory management software on the market, the Flightdocs platform will now leverage the technical publication libraries, regulatory content, and chronic defect analysis and troubleshooting software offered by ATP. Combined, the two companies will bring even more innovation and technical capabilities to the business aircraft maintenance tracking, inventory management, and flight operations software markets. 

    With the addition of Flightdocs, ATP will now support 75,000 maintenance professionals across more than 7,500 customers in 137 countries. Further, the team plans to continue investment in the development of new products to serve the business aviation, general aviation, commercial aviation, military/defense, and OEM markets.

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