NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference Marks Industry’s Latest Blockbuster 2024 Event

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-431-5970,

Fort Worth, TX, March 14, 2024 – The business aviation community continued its ascent into the year, with a Texas-sized NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2024), featuring nearly 3,300 registered attendees from 54 countries and more than 450 exhibiting companies on hand to “engage and empower” an exceptional group of professionals toward a dynamic and promising future.

“The passion that characterizes the scheduling and dispatching profession was front and center at this year’s conference, which brought people together to engage in new ways of thinking, empower each other, and come away inspired about the opportunities on the horizon,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. 

The event featured more than 30 education sessions and a host of Professional Development Program courses, covering the industry’s most pressing issues, from sustainability, to workforce challenges, to the latest technologies and trends in view for those in the highly specialized scheduling and dispatching profession. 

The conference was co-chaired by Jessi Litz-Rowden with Women in Aviation International, and Brian Abrahamson with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., who said the show exceeded expectations and galvanized attendees to go back home and share the experience they gained this week.

“Attendees embraced the opportunity to learn from their fellow professionals, including many people who were at the conference for the first time, bringing fresh perspectives to the event,” said Litz-Rowden. “They connected with people who can have a huge impact on their personal and professional journeys.”

Keynote: It Takes a Team

The conference’s keynote speaker – retired Col. Merryl Tengesdal, the first and only Black woman to fly the U.S. Air Force’s U-2 spy plane – opened the event’s second day by telling attendees about her quest to achieve her dreams.

With a childhood goal of being an astronaut, Tengesdal focused on her individual skill set. On her journey into adulthood – as a naval aviator, combat pilot, and later, flying the U-2 Lady Dragon – she came to understand the value of preparedness and teamwork in achieving successful outcomes, in all walks of life. 

“Without that team, the mission’s not going to get done,” Tengesda said. “It takes a team to make sure the aircraft gets to the destination – it’s because of you. As a scheduler and dispatcher, you guys are the conductors, the maestros.”

Empowering an Industry Through Advocacy

Although the conference date had been secured for more than a year, Bolen noted that SDC 2024 kicked off on “What happens to be one of the most important days we’ve seen in a long time.” He detailed for the event’s keynote audience the administration’s recent, troubling tax proposals for business aviation, as outlined in its annual federal budget proposal, released March 11. 

Bolen urged conference attendees to use a new message available at NBAA’s online Grassroots Action Center, which alerts lawmakers to the industry’s concern over the administration’s proposal. “Congress will ultimately consider any changes the president might offer, and there is strength in numbers, so we need to make our voice heard on this issue right away,” he noted.   

Fueling the Future

Prior to the opening of SDC2024, NBAA announced a new partnership with fixed-base operator Cutter Aviation, which provides an opportunity to contribute a portion of fuel expenditures to support NBAA’s advocacy efforts, including the industry’s new CLIMBING. FAST. advocacy campaign.

“We’re proud to be the first participant in the Fueling the Future program and delighted to have the opportunity to help give NBAA a bigger voice than ever,” said Cutter Aviation President and CEO Will Cutter. Learn more about Fueling the Future.

SDC2024 Honors

During the keynote, longtime business aviation scheduler and licensed dispatcher Chris Algee, CAM, was presented with the 2024 Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement and Leadership Award. Algee has been employed with Birmingham, AL-based Encompass Health since 2017 as manager, flight scheduling operations and administration. Read more about Algee and the award.

Also recognized were a number of SDC scholarship recipients and sponsors.

Learn more about the Schedulers & Dispatchers Training Scholarships.

Learn more about the Schedulers & Dispatchers Scholarship Awards.

Giving Back

Exhibitors and attendees donated leftover items such as notepads and pens to benefit The Welman Project, which connects schools and nonprofits with the community in ways that ignite creativity, environmental activism and social responsibility. The organization also serves as a free resource, distributing surplus materials for reuse in the classroom.

The 2025 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference takes place March 11-13, 2025, in Portland, OR.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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