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  • October 19, 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As I write this I’m on the cusp of heading to the annual NBAA Convention, in Las Vegas, and have the honor of speaking at the Small Operators Symposium and gathering with other regional associations for networking and learning. I am excited to share how CFBAA is thriving and growing with our amazing members.

    While I am looking forward to participating in this amazing event, I must endure the angst of flying on Delta Airlines. This will be my second foray on Delta within the last two weeks, and I hope this trip goes better than the last. Poor service, lack of communications, reassigned seats out of first class due to equipment change, and unfriendly workers made for a disappointing experience. In retrospect, this is awesome news for our industry. Treating high-net-worth individuals as cattle, along with the current mask mandate, are driving them to business aviation in droves. Way to go Delta and thanks for contributing to the current boom.

    I’m going to touch the third rail of vaccinations and while I am not in favor of mandates, I wonder how this will affect our industry. I just saw a report that Jacksonville ATC Center had a controller shortage, due to controllers not showing up for work, last Friday causing severe delays and cancellations. [FAA said it had a workforce shortage but not related to vaccine mandates.] I experienced some of that on our flight out of Florida Friday morning. Another industry article stated that some major airlines are prepared to let up to 500 pilots go for not complying. Let’s hope they opt to fly for business aviation. I believe business aviation will adjust and adapt, as we always do, and take advantage of the turmoil within the airline industry.

    At our annual meeting last month, the CFBAA Board of Directors choose to honor Kathryn Creedy who composes, edits, and publishes our monthly newsletter. This is no small task as Kathryn must take my musings and make them sound sensible. She is a true asset to our association, and we just wouldn’t have the outstanding newsletter without her. Our newsletter has been recognized by our national leaders and is becoming the envy of the industry. Thank you, Kathryn, for your hard work, dedication, and expertise! We are so happy to have you onboard.

    Stay safe,

    Dave

  • September 17, 2021 5:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members gathered at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Welcome Center for the CFBAA Annual Meeting were honored with the presence of NBAA President Ed Bolen, ERAU President Dr. P. Barry Butler and Volusia County Director of the Department of Aviation and Economic Resources Cyrus Callum who oversees Daytona Beach International Airport.

    Sponsored by Bombardier, Aviation Manuals, ERAU, Textron, Viasat and Sodexo, the event had 80 reservations. The very excellent meal was catered by Sodexo.

    ERAU Educating Workforce & Growing Research Capability

    CFBAA members not only learned about ERAU, its 7600 on-campus and 23,000 ERAU WorldWide students, it learned how this critical aviation resource is meeting the workforce crisis with 97% of grads either employed or pursuing advanced degrees. In addition, ERAU has robust K-12 programs including a online curriculum done in partnership with Women in Aviation International and its other K-12 work where it reaches 6,000 students in 40 different classrooms.


    Butler discussed the university’s Research Park hard by DAB. “Normally such aviation research facilities take 30 years to fill,” Butler said. “Ours filled in two years and we expect it to double in size in the next few years.”

    A nexus between the university’s intellectual and technological recourses, and the partner enterprises, it creates a technology-focused ecosystem bringing together university researchers and students with businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, providing a foundation to start or grow their enterprise. The goals of the Research Park include increasing the university’s research capabilities and collaborations with industry, aiding tenants and start-ups in bringing new innovations to market, and stimulating economic development.

    Bolen Praises CFBAA

    A great booster for CFBAA, Ed Bolen discussed the importance of business aviation providing not only high-value, high-paying jobs but critical humanitarian work above and beyond its role of enabling businesses to be more successful for employees and other stakeholders. Business aviation, he said, allows them to plant their headquarters beyond the large population areas providing both jobs and economic development to their home towns.


    “They are located where they want to be but are still able to compete on the world stage,” he told attendees. “They also help build our NBAA community. Another great example of building community is CFBAA which creates connections. We have a range of issues and challenges but working together improves our ability to go farther, faster which is fundamental to who we are.”

    Bolen briefed attendees on how the industry is playing a leading role in sustainability including encouraging development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and promoting next generation propulsion including hybrid, electric and hydrogen solutions. It also encourages  the next step in transport – supersonic flight which has been proven by the military.

    Reporting on the odd conjunction of travel trends of business travel declining while business aviation growing, Bolen noted pre-owned market is booming with an historically low inventory. He indicated as jobs and home merged with the advent of the pandemic, people wanted easier, more secure and safer transport than the amount of advanced planning needed for the airlines and turned to private aviation.

    “There is still a critical need and emotional value in people getting together and that is what we are seeing with the rise of business aviation,” he concluded. “We are seeing people who have never been in the industry before. The numbers are off the charts. Companies have opportunities they haven’t had until now. These new customers are bringing new excitement to the industry and that can only be good for business aviation.”

    DAB Improvements      

    Callum briefed attendees on DAB improvements including a new taxiway connected ERAU’s Research Center to the rest of the airport. The airport’s pivotal role for educators, the military, private, business and commercial aviation makes the $14 million in improvements critical to its continued success in Central Florida. In addition to improving the commercial terminal giving it the beach vibe, the airport was declared Florida's Commercial Service Airport of the Year for 2021 by the Florida Department of Transportation although Callum credited the team at the airport for the honor.


    He reported that despite the dip in commercial traffic, general aviation traffic made DAB the busiest airport in Central Florida for a time last year. Airport projects included ARFF facilities which were rehabilitated going from worst to first, said Callum, who added two new fire trucks would be joining the fleet shortly. In addition, several taxiways have been refurbished at a cost of $15 million with minimal disruption to airport operations. He also reminded members NBAA BACE was scheduled for Orlando in 2022 where his old stomping ground ORL would host the static display.

    Jenny Showalter confers the first CFBAA member of the year award on Kathryn Creedy, Newsletter Editor


  • September 17, 2021 5:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Embraer just delivered its 1,500th business jet and has no open slots for new airplanes until 2023. Textron sales are up 20% with a backlog of $2.1 billion while Gulfstream sales reaches a 10-year high. The used aircraft market is at the lowest level for aircraft seen in a quite a while, causing prices to begin to raise. My flight department flew over 20 hours this past Labor Day weekend and every ramp was busy with a lot of activity. Some ramps have been at full capacity at desired tourist destinations causing crews to adjust flight schedules. FBO’s are reporting record fuel sales and this past weekend seemed very busy up and down the east coast. Angel Houck, with Aviation Tax Consultants and CFBAA BOD member, said she has had to postpone her vacation this summer because of the volume of new airplane buyers. NetJets has discontinued selling flight cards while the charter market is swamped as I experienced last week in arranging one for my boss.

    This is great news for our industry, especially after the past two years of dealing with COVID and welcomed by vendors and operators. But? Does there have to be a but? Can we just enjoy this boom and worry about the future, well, in the future?

    Not really. There are some headwinds our industry faces, and we have never shrunk from the challenges. Talent supply will be major issue in both the near, and far, future. Recruiting and maintaining qualified talent is already a problem for many vendors and operators and future predictions are not promising. As people invested in the business aviation community, we need to spread the news about how great, and exciting, are the opportunities for young people. One way will be through the newly established CFBAA Scholarship Foundation that will offer help to young talent considering business aviation. Keep an eye out for ways to contribute and participate.

    As is usual in my life, I am unable to attend our annual meeting at my alma mater, ERAU, this month. Spending the day flying to Bartow is almost exciting as binging the Kardashian series. I hope everyone can attend and share in the excitement of the continued growth of our association. Ed Bolen, President of NBAA, will be our honored guest and will share what a wonderful job each of you are doing in supporting our industry. There have been many challenges in making this event happen and many thanks go to Alicia Smith and Sarah Ochs at Embry-Riddle for doing the major lifting. We cherish their hard work and wonderful support. Come and enjoy a fine meal and hear some of our national and local business aviation leaders speak. I’ll give everyone a brief on the life of the Kardashians the next time we gather.

    Warmest regards,

    Dave


  • July 15, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt flew into retirement, he reflected on his time at the board saying concerns remain about flight deck professionalism, violations of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the fact that passengers still don’t know how to judge the quality of flight departments or how to ensure they are doing the right things to ensure safety.

    In the same vain, Stuart “Kip” Lau, reported on how few operators have Safety Management Systems citing Air Charter Safety Foundation reports.

    Let the Flyer Beware

    Sumwalt Reflects on Time with NTSB, Highlights Risk Management

    “I think that my view of safety has evolved over the years,” Sumwalt told AIN. “I now look at safety as the primary practice of managing risk to an acceptable level. I think sometimes maybe people just blindly accept the risk, and it's important to assess those risk areas and manage the risk. If we could get people thinking of managing safety, if we could get them thinking in terms of it's really a risk-management situation, that would be an evolution.”

    Sumwalt, who once ran a Fortune 500 corporate aviation department, pointed to an NBAA study finding 18% of flight department or flight crews did not do standard full flight control checks before takeoff.

    “One thing that really bothers me is a lack of procedural compliance,” he told AIN. “And we do find that as a factor [in accidents]. Procedures are written generally for a reason. People say they're written in blood. There've been studies that have shown that once you start deviating from the SOP, you're more likely to have consequential errors. So, I think that's one thing that I do harp on.

    “SOP compliance is one part of professionalism,” he continued. “I think it's important to ask ourselves, are we truly professionals? And I think everybody would say they are, but by what standard? I think professionals follow procedures. They have a respect for doing things properly. They're doing the right things even when no one is watching. I think in some cases, people spend more time trying to figure out how to skirt the regulations than actually complying with them.”

    Sumwalt was echoed at the opening of a Hawker 700 accident hearing in 2015 when NTSB Chair Christopher Hart said “A traveler boards an on-demand charter flight with the assumption that these government and company protections are in effect. However, in the accident…we found a flight crew, a company, and FAA inspectors who fell short of their obligations in regard to safety.”

    Lau noted both SMS and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) are on the NTSB Most Wanted list. The board wanted FAA to require and verify the effectiveness of SMS in all revenue-passenger-carrying aviation operations.

    There is history behind this stemming from the increasing regulations for the regional airline industry when NTSB first said all revenue operations should meet a single level of safety. The improving safety systems and commercial accident rates prompted NTSB to pivot its attention to business and general aviation. The warning here is if the industry does not develop programs on its own, they will be mandated.

    Shockingly, Lau reported that of the 1,900 charter operators in the U.S., only 20 have been accepted into the FAA’s voluntary SMS program—approximately 1% of all Part 135 operators, the Air Charter Safety Foundation reported recently. Another 213 have applied, but once those operators are approved, they will still represent no more than about 10% of all charter companies.

    “ACSF's organizational-based ASAP is a bright spot when it comes to Part 91/135 voluntary safety programs,” Lau wrote. “It was originally designed for Part 135 charter operators and has now expanded to include several Part 91 operators. ‘The program is structured so ACSF, not the FAA or operator, shoulders 90% of the administrative burden,’ according to ACFS President Bryan Burns. “Since its inception over six years ago, it has grown to include more than 200 participants—and Part 91 operators now make up over half of the total.

    Lau pointed to a new SMS Tool, simple, easy-to-use software platform for their use, now available. “From my experience, a true, active SMS solution can take up to three to five years to mature,” said Burns. “It takes that amount of time to change the process, attitudes, and culture. The old way of doing things in-house no longer applies. So, the time to get started is now.”

  • May 12, 2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is no surprise to the aviation community that general and business aviation show up to help in disasters even before they are asked. Operators and pilots know they bring a unique set of skills and resources that can help, whether ferrying in much needed relief supplies or ferrying out evacuees. But the haphazard nature of such help is not part of global emergency management preparations. They should be.

    Often those in charge of managing disasters don’t know what to do with these air assets foregoing time sensitive solutions in emergencies.

    During the Covid pandemic, general aviation rose to the occasion once again, connecting remote communities in Alaska, Montana and Michigan and delivering life-saving vaccines.

    The story was recounted as part of a webinar arranged by Tecnam and included both NATA and GAMA to explain how governments should plan in advance to use general and business aviation during emergencies. There is now a move afoot to develop a general/business aviation global emergency response infrastructure that could provide governments with turn-key operations to get to those in need whether by famine, disease or natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

    Tecnam, which used its P2012, kitted with a newly develop refrigeration system, to deliver vaccines prompted the webinar aired in April. 

    Tecnam Managing Director Giovanni Pascale Langer pointed out only general aviation can truly meet the needs of rapid distribution in underserved markets, if it can overcome the many hurdles in its way. Those hurdles include lack of awareness in how GA can help and advanced planning to overcome the silos represented by regulatory and health authorities who don't know who to tap into aviation networks.

    “In North America, general aviation is well organized but not so in Europe,” said Tecnam’s Walter Da Costa. “For Tecnam, we continue to work on creating the platform for the industry to work together.” 

    National Air Transportation Association Senior Vice President Ryan Waguespack agreed leveraging the networks of GA airports and general aviation itself provides the roadmap for what can be developed.

    Webinar Points the Way

    Remarks were part of a webinar organized by Tecnam which included the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and NATA discussing what needs to be done to make aviation a genuine part of disaster relief.

    As an example of the urgent need, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) Disaster Response and International Development Expert Daniel Juzi said without general aviation it will take two to three years before Covid vaccinations are complete in many developing regions in the world where it operates. That gives the virus time to mutate and re-infect those areas already vaccinated.

    Idaho-based MAF, which serves 3,000 airstrips with 65,000 to 85,000 flights and 180,000 passengers worldwide every year, partners with health organizations who deliver medical services. Juzi indicated local governments and health authorities were not geared toward using aviation in their plans while the military is the distribution default in other countries.

    “A challenge we have seen and already know is there are considerable hurdles,” he explained. “Vaccine distribution is very high profile and sometimes the military wants to do it. In addition, health authorities are very much directing efforts in some areas but not others. It is also high cost in many remote areas and using aviation could bring the cost down.”

    Tecnam’s Langer said the difficulties of vaccine transport and the unique cold-chain requirements prompted the creation of its P2012 TravelCare.

    “Since the pandemic hit us, we have seen that everyone was playing [their] role,” said Langer. “Today, we want to say out loud that general aviation is here to do the same. We have the power to bring advantages and help where nobody else can.”

    Even North America Must Organize to Tap Aviation

    Both GAMA and NATA pointed out leveraging aviation is an uphill battle even in North America.

    Waguespack pointed to three states leveraging general aviation to not only distribute vaccines but, in some cases, turn airports into vaccination sites. While Michigan and Alaska have long turned to aviation to meet their transportation needs, the role in Montana was an eye opener, he explained.

    “The pandemic is a golden opportunity for general aviation to step up,” said Waguespack. “In Montana, a veterans affairs group worked with companies using Learjets to not only distribute vaccines but carry nurses to administer them. Let’s say you go into a community and you have 500 doses and only 400 show up. One of the challenges that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is facing when we were in discussions with them is that those remaining doses couldn’t be returned to the hub, so they have to be thrown out. General aviation can ensure those doses are used by moving quickly to another area for vaccination.”

    In addition to government health and regulatory authorities, the maze of approvals for including aviation is often stymied by bureaucracy, according to GAMA’s Vice President of European Affairs Kyle Martin, who reported GA supported Doctors Without Borders.

    “GAMA wrote to the European Commission and all the EU member states in early December effectively offering our services to help distribute vaccines,” he said. “Their reply was quite clear that, whilst the commission procured the vaccines for all the EU member states, they were not in charge of distribution. Distribution was, therefore, left to each individual member state or, in some cases, down to different regions of that member state. These authorities don’t think about general aviation as a useful asset in the toolbox even though it gives massive flexibility for these missions and can access remote locations on islands, jungles and mountain regions.”

    Overcoming Hurdles with Turn-Key Solutions

    That problem can only be overcome by advanced emergency planning in which all levels of aviation are included in initial distribution planning to complement commercial and charter services. To make that happen, said a panelist, aviation must build a coalition and develop the systems and resources necessary to convince governments that it has a turn-key solution for using aviation in disasters. But all stakeholders need to be at the table, including commercial airlines to assure efficient use of all assets aviation has to offer.

    It is all about developing the networks that can spring into action and tying them in with national health services and regulatory authorities, suggested Juzi.

    “You have to have the regulators on board,” he said. “Being willing and able is one thing but how can we do this legally and be compliant? We can if we think about ahead of time.”

    First Responders

    Aviation, whether commercial, cargo, general or business aviation, has always responded to disasters before being asked delivering water, medical supplies and disaster relief to stricken areas. However, without a formalized plan at the governmental level, these precious resources often go to waste, prolonging the suffering of affected populations.

    For instance, a global luxury helicopter company responded to the twin hurricanes of Irma and Maria in 2017 by offering helicopter service in the Caribbean to both bring in relief supplies and ferry out evacuees. Governments had no idea what to do with such assets and did not take advantage of the offer which only sought to cover operating costs. Helicopters are not the only assets, insists Martin.

    “Because a lack of awareness of the advantages of using GA in crises," Martin added, "most attention is concentrated on a few transportation methods like helicopters so there is plenty of untapped opportunity for leveraging the industry during crises and disasters. GA really offers a significant advantage in terms of flexibility. Shorter field lengths, steeper approaches, smaller shipment size, lower cost all to benefit local governments in delivering services.”

    NATA and RACCA are continuing discussions to create a coalition of like-minded aviation organizations to organize and develop the resources to leveraging aviation resources to aid in health- and natural-disaster related relief efforts now and in the future.

    Tecnam Aircraft Hosts Webinar with Industry Experts to Explore the Role of General Aviation in COVID Vaccine Distribution (prweb.com)
  • December 17, 2020 8:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We made it! The holidays are here and soon 2020 will be behind us with all its trials. My prayer is that you are able to celebrate with your family and friends.

    I have been busy flying lately and notice an interesting dynamic in business aviation activity. We landed in Sarasota the Sunday after Thanksgiving and had to wait on the taxiway for the ramp to open. Then we had an overnight in Teterboro and there wasn’t one plane on the ramp at Meridian. Florida appears to be the recipient of increased business flying while the Northeast is slow, which is not that unusual when the temperature drops below a comfortable level. My broker friends say they are extremely busy with new business aviation buyers while the OEM’s orders have slowed. This all seems typical for a year that is in a state of constant turmoil.

    As a young association, we have also experienced the difficulty of navigating the turmoil of 2020 but are entering the new one with optimism and excitement. We plan on gathering to reestablish relationships, and form new ones, with other professionals in our industry. Come join us in January at ORL. Our Board is excited about expanding our membership to the Jacksonville and St Augustine areas while growing our east coast relationships. Listening in on some of the Regional Association calls it is refreshing to share how active we have remained and are positioned for growth.

    I encourage each of you to be generous this season and take time to give back. There is something about giving that always returns in ways you couldn’t imagine. A major theme for our association is to provide opportunities for our members to give, so commit to join a committee, or find another way to give, this new year.

    May you have a wonderful Holiday and a safe New Year!

  • December 17, 2020 7:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thinking the economic devastation wrought by Covid would be similar to 9/11 and the Great Recession, Aviation Personnel International President Sheryl Barden was ready but was surprised at what happened.

    During CFBAA’s Speaker Series on Tuesday, she noted the uptick in traffic to get people to where they wanted to hunker down. Flight departments became key to economic recovery with the rise in business aviation use,” she told attendees.

    What made this different was how companies were holding tight to their people as activity increased with new aircraft buyers or those who immediately put their aircraft under management creating significantly increased demand in that sector. Those that were NetJets customers or who normally just chartered aircraft, moved to owning. One of the management companies told me his hiring tripled from what was originally planned for 2020 with all the new aircraft under management. In addition, demand for charter and such models as Wheels Up has skyrocketed.”

    Barden recommended employees update their resumes at least once a year and noted it has a free annual assessment tool on its website to help employees navigate this task. The tool helps people remember the accomplishments for the year and how it made them better employees or how they contributed to the bottom line.

    “You must own your career past, present and future,” she said, noting few have updated resumes. “But you need to have your own statement of where you are today and how you got there. What did I accomplish this year, what has happened in my life? All that helps you build your story. We have people who haven’t touched their resume in 25 years, and it is difficult to rebuild what you have accomplished. You need to show your expertise and your past experience.”

    Resumes are only one source of information tapped by employers who also review social media sites for clues as to whether someone would be a good fit. LinkedIn profiles should illustrate someone’s commitment to making themselves more valuable such as working on the IS-BAO certification team or taking professional development courses. Barden cited Matt Olafsen’s LI profile as a great example of how it should be done.

    “This is about you and your future,” she said, “and how you can develop skills you do not have now in your downtimes whether it is a RON or a layoff. There are many free online learning and training courses whether through NBAA or Embry Riddle Aeronautical University or LinkedIn courses. One of the major issues now is about diversity and inclusion so take some training which allows you to speak to that to a prospective employer. Employers want to know if you are taking the initiative to better yourself, demonstrating leadership to get more skills. We need leaders so leadership education is important.

    “Ask yourself: How can I round out my personal portfolio by proactively taking training that builds skill sets and awareness,” she continued. “You have a choice. You can live by default or by design.”

    The remedy for algorithms that may reject resumes, is networking which should start as students. Barden recommending using NBAA resources such as the Young Professionals Program.

    “Find the hiring manager. If you are in scheduling, find the scheduler and find out who is doing the hiring. If you have no experience build it by volunteering and applying for internships, scholarships, apprenticeships. There are a lot of resources for people with no experience such as just being a part of CFBAA. Ask for informational interviews to find out what industry is looking for and how you can build your portfolio. Look for job shadowing, network to find a mentor or sponsor which are all key pieces to getting your foot in the industry. That begins that rolling snowball of becoming part of the industry.”

    On LinkedIn you need to network because having contacts is not enough. You have to have relationships, find mentors and advisors who can help you navigate not only what you need in your education but your career, Barden advised, noting API offers The Ultimate Guide to Linked in for Aviation Professionals.

    “The closer you get to flight department and the people who have hiring expertise, the better you are,” she said. “See who your contacts are following and who is in their network.”

    Check out CFBAA’s past speakers here.

  • December 17, 2020 7:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After VBACE’s session on how to connect with students, a little research shows Central Florida is packed with aviation and aerospace education programs. Regional groups, such as Central Florida Business Aviation Association, remain key to steering those students toward careers in business aviation.

    The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity designated several aviation-related careers, including aircraft mechanics and service technicians, airline pilots and commercial pilots as high-demand, high-skill, high-wage occupations in Central Florida and statewide. In its Jobs 2030 report, the Florida Chamber of Commerce also identified aerospace and aviation as one of five priority industries for sustaining Florida’s future.

    Florida public schools and community colleges have embraced aviation education following a trend repeated around the country.

    The latest effort teams the Aldrin Family Foundation, NASA, Explorer At Large, Public Consulting Group and the University of Kansas in Project Ianos to attract the next generation to aerospace jobs. The $175,000 grant will develop and deploy videos and hands-on learning tools targeted at 3.8 million under-represented students in grades five through eight. The Project Ianos team includes leaders in storytelling, educational curriculum development and teacher training. Focusing on under-represented groups is important because doing such good is good for the bottom line, numerous studies have found.

    Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne launched the school’s Aviation Fabrication and Assembly program nearly five years ago but today students work on biz jets and helicopters, guided by Aviation Technology Teacher Bill McInnish, who said he can’t keep up with the local demand for skilled manufacturing workers.

    Also in Melbourne, is Florida Prep with its long aviation education history.

    Eastern Florida State College has been in the aviation education business for more than a decade with the establishment of Embraer Executive Jets at MLB. According to the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, 23% of the 20,346 jobs created in Brevard County from 2015-2018 were in manufacturing.

    The Eau Gallie program is part of a national trend toward adopting aviation/aerospace education for STEM subjects and a move toward more career & technical education. Many companies are also creating apprenticeship programs and counties have developed adult and community education programs. Even so, manufacturing, a hallmark of the Central Florida economy, has to overcome a perception problem with students and parents who prefer college. Such certification training has an 86% placement rate and at Eau Gallie it is 100%.

    Recently, a new program was established in Lakeland as International Aero Academy and Central Christian College teamed up with Tecnam U.S. to create a new, four-year aviation degree program aiming to slash the cost of an aviation education and replenish the career pilot pipeline. Dade City’s Pasco-Hernando State College just inaugurated a state-funded flight program for aspiring pilots using Red Bird Flight Simulators.

    Leesberg High School’s Spark Club recently toured the airport as part of an effort to attract more kids to aviation/aerospace by showing them there are good-paying home town jobs. Led by Sandi Moore, executive director of the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and Tracy Dean, Leesburg International Airport Manager, students heard from EAA Chapter 534, Brianard Helicopters, Skybolt Aerospace Fasteners and Wipaire, which manufacturers aircraft floats.

    Next door, Seminole County recently had a public schools Aviation Day partnering with Sanford Airport Authority, Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools which focused on elementary and middle schools. Schools partnered with Orlando Sanford Airport after educators identified a demand for qualified workforce. Seminole County Public Schools also has a dual-enrollment agreement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

    And let’s not forget Sun ‘n’ Fun which recently hosted a Holiday Flying Festival attracting between 4,000 and 7,000 including Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving in a Stearman PT–17. Little wonder the Central Florida Flying Academy is nearby.

    So, now all we have to do is contact each program and tell them about business aviation opportunities. 

  • November 18, 2020 11:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My wife and I became grandparents earlier this year when our daughter, and her husband, began fostering a baby boy with the hope of adoption. A few months later they announced they were pregnant with a girl due in February and just like that I felt old, but thankful. The problem is that they live clear across the country in Tacoma, WA, and we have only seen our grandson through video. My wife talks to them every evening and plays peek-a-boo with him, so he learns her voice, but it just doesn’t substitute face-to-face time. She is planning a visit over thanksgiving and has been doing everything necessary to avoid contracting COVID and fulfilling the state requirements to baby sit a foster child. I have been trying to get him to call me “Captain,” but a 9-month-old just doesn’t seem interested.

    Our relationship with our grandchild is indicative of how strong the human condition for face-to-face meetings and how business aviation is meeting today’s challenge.

    Our management team meets with the principal face-to-face at least once a month because they find more value in it than a zoom call can provide. Last week we flew the boss down to tour a new bottling facility we are building and to meet the new managers that will be overseeing the operation. There is something about the boss spending face time with new managers that creates a better business environment. These are just a few examples that face-to-face relationships are more important than what electronic gatherings can fulfill.

    Recent statistics show that business aviation has recovered to 85% of pre-COVID flying. Operators I speak with say their flying is increasing and getting back to a more normal operation. Business aviation learned how to transport people safe of COVID through innovation, and stringent procedures, making it possible for executives to rebuild, or grow, their businesses. Business aviation is proving its worth for safe, time-sensitiv and secure transportation that the airlines are incapable of doing currently.

    Our country will have a new president come January and many people wonder what changes that will bring. I am confident that business aviation will respond as we always do, with innovation, creativity, and perseverance to adjust and thrive with this change. Central Florida will still be a vibrant market for visitors and business expansion bringing even more business aviation to our community and providing greater opportunities. If your guy didn’t win, take a breath, relax and then become involved in one of our committees to help strengthen our association.

    Central Florida Business Aviation Association has some amazing opportunities on the horizon, so join us for our speaker’s series, happy hours, and our long-awaited gathering in January. We have worked hard to establish a strong foundation and are ready to grow and thrive going forward. Spread the word to your friends and invite them to join and become involved


  • November 18, 2020 11:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While reducing its forecast workforce needs, Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook 2020-2039 still sees shortages looming in the future. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns is the impact of the global downturn on the pipeline since shortages have always been driven by retirement and Covid has largely accelerated retirements which have now been compounded by those who leave the industry permanently.

    Meanwhile, CAE sees a need for some 27,000 new pilots from the end of 2021, or 264,000 over the coming decade.

    These views are tempered by a post from Aviation Consultant Brian Foley, making strong arguments by the end of Boeing’s 20-year forecast automation will be taking over.

    Boeing indicated the industry will need 763,000 pilot and 739,000 aviation maintenance technicians worldwide, a 5% drop from the 840,000 pilots and a 3.9% decline from the 769,00 AMTs forecast in 2019.

    “These forecasts do not take into account the technological progress being made in semi- and fully-autonomous flight,” said Foley.

    Foley, who writes extensively on business aviation, pointed to the Large Unmanned Cargo aircraft under development and those already fielded by the U.S. military, predicting military will be the first to shed crews.

    “Drones are moving even more quickly towards flight autonomy, including military versions and those used by delivery services like Amazon , Walmart and others as well as Garmin’s Autoland technology,” he said. “It won’t take a special, clean-sheet aircraft design to accommodate this but instead a retrofit of the existing fleet.”

    “A Boeing executive summary reiterates that ‘meeting the projected long-term demand’ for aviation positions ‘will require a collective effort across the global aviation industry’ as ‘tens of thousands of pilots, technicians and cabin crew members reach retirement age over the next decade.’ The company says educational outreach and career pathway programs ‘will be essential to inspiring and recruiting the next generation’,” wrote AOPA in its coverage.

    Despite the downturn, according to staffing specialist JS Firm, hundreds of companies continue to hire.


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