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A Letter from Jeff Lee
Chairman, NBAA Board of Directors
July 21, 2008
Dear NBAA Member Company Representative:
On July 1, NBAA began a new fiscal year, which seems a good opportunity to report on the progress made, and look to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as the new fiscal year gets underway.
A Fiscally Strong NBAA
First, I am pleased to report on behalf of your Board of Directors that the Association ended the fiscal year on sound financial footing. This result is thanks in large measure to the emphasis your Board places on its fiduciary responsibility to the management of NBAA’s finances.
Specifically, a five-member Audit Committee of the Board oversees NBAA’s financial practices. The committee was formed in 2005, as a best practice adopted from the for-profit marketplace, which had been embracing independent auditing bodies following passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The committee’s oversight has ensured that the Association’s finances are transparent and in good order.
A Continued Fight Against the User Fee Threat
Looking ahead, it is clear that the Association’s resources will continue to be tested by the big airlines ongoing attempt, as part of FAA reauthorization, to vilify general aviation in hopes of imposing user fees and shifting millions of the airlines’ costs onto our industry. As we know, a Capitol Hill newspaper reported that the airlines’ lobbying group, the Air Transport Association, spent over $11 million in the first six months of 2007 on their campaign of distortion.
Thanks to the strong support of NBAA’s Members, the House-passed version of reauthorization builds on the aviation fuel tax for FAA funding and aviation system modernization, as does the version under consideration by the Senate. Congress recently voted to extend the FAA’s current level of funding through September, and NBAA will continue to urge Congress to complete before the end of this year an FAA bill that provides for system modernization using the proven fuel tax system. NBAA will also continue asking Members to make sure Congress hears your voices.
A Sustained Focus on Local Industry Priorities
Of course, as NBAA Members know, the Association’s support for the industry extends beyond the Washington Beltway. NBAA’s seven Regional Representatives provide a voice on local policy proposals related to airport access, security, aircraft noise, emissions and a host of other issues.
Working with local groups and businesses, NBAA’s team of Regional Representatives has recently had a significant impact on state and local levels that could be seen from coast to coast. For example, in California, Florida and New York, local efforts were key in preventing precedent-setting airport access restrictions that would have adversely impacted the industry.
In the coming fiscal year, I am confident that NBAA’s Regional Representatives will continue to play an important role in addressing the issues most important to Members in their local areas. I encourage Members to get in touch with their Regional Representatives, to foster a better understanding of local needs, and learn how to become more involved in the regional issues facing business aviation.
An Ongoing Emphasis On Strengthening Membership Value
Another important aspect of NBAA’s work is ensuring that the Association’s events, products and services remain highly valued for Members. In the past fiscal year, the Association continued its emphasis on getting input from Members for improving NBAA’s benefits. NBAA’s ongoing focus on Membership value has been reflected in continued overall Membership growth, and record attendance and Exhibitor counts at NBAA’s events.
I am especially encouraged that the record-setting participation in NBAA’s events included attendance for the safety-themed gatherings that NBAA helps to produce, such as the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar (hosted by NBAA and the Flight Safety Foundation) and the Bombardier Safety Standdown (jointly hosted by NBAA, Bombardier, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board).
This fiscal year, NBAA will take its emphasis on Membership value to the next level with a new, three-day industry event, the Light Business Airplane Exhibition & Conference (LBA2009). The new show will serve as the industry’s premier event dedicated to operators who use light airplanes to make their businesses more successful.
The inaugural LBA event will take place Thursday through Saturday, March 12–14, 2009, in San Diego, CA, at the San Diego Convention Center. A Static Display of Aircraft will be located just minutes from the Convention Center, at San Diego International Airport.
We are asking NBAA Members who operate light airplanes to help guide the planning for this exciting new event, as we want to ensure it covers the kinds of developments, issues and trends of specific interest to business owners and other operators of light jets, turboprops, and piston airplanes. To submit ideas, Members can call a toll-free phone number, 1-800-928-4283 (1-800-9-AVIATE), or e-mail ideas@nbaa[email protected]
A Broad Range of Perspectives on NBAA’s Board of Directors
Adding and improving Member benefits – from events to products and services – requires the experience of the entire spectrum of business aviation operators that are part of NBAA. The Association’s Board of Directors has long had a goal of ensuring that a diversity of operators are represented on the Board.
For this reason, I am pleased to announce that Richard Shine, CEO of Manitoba Recycling, a family-owned company in Lancaster, NY, has been nominated to serve as a new Director. An owner-operator, Richard flies a turboprop to serve existing scrap metal suppliers, and find new ones, outside the local area where his business is located. As always, Members will have the opportunity to affirm his nomination, along with other Board Members up for re-election, at the 61st Annual Meeting & Convention, October 6 – 8, in Orlando, FL.
We look forward to another successful fiscal year, and to serving the interests of NBAA Members. The Association is in a sound fiscal position, continues to advocate on behalf of general aviation on a number of important policy fronts, and bring ever-more benefits and events to you, the Members. I welcome your thoughts on the challenges and opportunities before your Association. Please send your comments [email protected] or 1-800-FYI-NBAA.
NBAA Board of Directors