NBAA CEO On Industry Outlook, Event Highlights

Credit: NBAA

Economic uncertainties due to inflationary pressures and a potential future recession are not hindering the NBAA leader’s optimism for the industry.

“We’re very hopeful that the momentum that we’ve seen, and the tailwinds, will continue into the new year,” says NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. 

His optimism stems from the knowledge that “the inherent values of business aviation—the ability to get where you need to be when you need to be, safely, securely and predictably,” do not change during downturns. Business aviation’s user base climbed during the COVID-19 pandemic because of new entrants, which should also help the market.

Many major Asia-Pacific countries, with exceptions such as China and Hong Kong, have opened, so that business aviation operations there are resuming, which should also boost the overall industry’s buoyance. Bolen highlighted strong operations in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia as examples.

In addition to forecasting 2023 operations, Bolen expects sustainability, workforce, safety and technology to be key discussion topics at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). You can anticipate a lot of news around sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)—which operators flying in for the event can purchase at Sheltair at Orlando Executive Airport, or can book via book-and-claim at Atlantic Aviation in Orlando, Florida.

Like other industries, business aviation faces supply chain challenges and workforce shortages. Bolen says jobs across the board—pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, controllers and airport staff—are all affected.

NBAA-BACE will include a number of session and speakers addressing this issue, including Tammie Jo Shults, the famed Southwest Airlines pilot and U.S. Naval aviator. The NBAA event also will feature several high-level government officials, including FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen and European Union Aviation Safety Agency Executive Director Patrick Ky. Expect both of them to address the developing advanced air mobility market and what will be needed to develop the infrastructure to support those operations.


Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.