NBAA Wraps a Dynamic, High-Energy Convention in Orlando

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Orlando, FL, Oct. 18, 2018 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today brought to a close its 2018 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). It was an event characterized by energy, excitement and a focus on the future.

“It certainly seemed that NBAA-BACE exceeded even the highest expectations,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Exhibitors told us their booths were packed, and attendees continually remarked on the latest technologies and services displayed on the show floor, the quality of our sessions and the networking opportunities available.”

NBAA-BACE was held Oct. 16–18 at the Orange County Convention Center and Orlando Executive Airport.

Bolen added that the positive energy was palpable in every corner of the show floor and static display. “The convention showed that this is one of the best environments for business aviation in decades,” said Bolen. “We focused on the people, technologies and leadership qualities that will maximize today’s opportunities, while keeping an eye on the investment and innovation that will drive the industry’s future.”

As NBAA-BACE 2018 drew to a close, organizers pointed to several indicators illustrating Bolen’s point, including:

  • More than 100 aircraft were exhibited outdoors at the airport, at an indoor static display inside the convention center and elsewhere on the show floor. Two new aircraft were introduced, and several others were displayed for the first time, at this year’s convention.
  • The keynote sessions for the show’s first two days were headlined by visionaries pioneering the future of business aviation. For example, Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, shared Uber’s plans for fostering urban mobility with electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Solar Impulse Chair Bertrand Piccard told his story of flying around the world without a drop of fuel, urging the industry to dare to make “impossible dreams” like solar flight a reality.
  • As always, government leaders were on hand to brief attendees on the latest legislative and regulatory issues affecting business aviation. Additionally, political titans Paul Begala and Matt Schlapp debated the two parties’ electoral fortunes in the midterm elections.
  • The keynote sessions featured a first-time immersive experience, with the 2018 Collier Award-winning Cirrus Vision Jet on display, as well as an experimental flying car from Terrafugia.
  • Organizers also took time to honor some of aviation’s legendary figures. With a powerful standing ovation, the Women Airforce Service Pilots, who served during WWII, accepted NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award. NBAA also presented the association’s Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership to aerobatic icon Sean D. Tucker and the Bob Hoover Academy, for inspiring at-risk youth by teaching them to fly.
  • Recognition of the Bob Hoover Academy was just one of many noteworthy moments throughout the week that underscored how the industry is investing in its future workforce. NBAA celebrated its inaugural Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40, and hosted Young Professionals (YoPro) networking and education sessions, as well as panels on workforce retention, women in aviation leadership and tips from rising industry stars.
  • On the show’s final day – Careers in Business Aviation Day – more than 1,000 students came to NBAA-BACE for free, where they heard from aerobatic pilot Anthony Oshinuga and other mentors.

“This year’s convention highlighted business aviation’s proud history, exciting present and inspiring dreams for the future – a future that has never felt so close as it did this week,” Bolen continued.

Bolen added that NBAA is carrying that excitement forward to 2019, when NBAA-BACE returns to Las Vegas, NV, on Oct. 22–24.

See NBAA TV clips with highlights from show, along with news, photo galleries and dispatches from each day of the convention at the NBAA-BACE Newsroom. Join the ongoing conversation about #NBAA18 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.