• 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.

  • October 14, 2020 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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 | Anonymous member (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.

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