Sept. 30, 2013

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen visited Greenville, SC on Sept. 27, appearing as the keynote speaker at the third annual Southeast Aviation Expo, which was held at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU). Bolen’s message about the size, diversity and economic value of business aviation resonated well in one of the most aviation-friendly states.

“Many key South Carolina officials recognize the value of general aviation, not only by holding this Southeast Aviation Expo, but in observing South Carolina Aviation Week,” Bolen said, referring to a recently issued proclamation from Governor Nikki Haley designating August 19 to 23 a week to observe the industry’s importance in the state. “I thank Governor Haley for acknowledging the important role that the state’s airports play in the regional economy. I also congratulate The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission for partnering with the South Carolina Aviation Association to make South Carolina Aviation Week a success.”

“The thing that strikes me about South Carolina is that it’s a very aviation-friendly state,” added Harry Houckes, NBAA’s Southeast regional representative.” For aviation across the board, the state has endeavored to make doing business there easy and comfortable. All the state agencies and SCAA seem to work together well to handle any issues that do come up, and to promote aviation in the state.”

Katie Koon, executive director of the SCAA, which sponsored the expo, said airports of all sizes across the state participated in South Carolina Aviation Week.

“We let them know what we’d like to see the airports do in their local areas, and gave them an outline of various activities and events. This year, we had our biggest response yet.” Koon said.

Likewise, the Southeast Aviation Expo was strongly supported by sponsors and exhibitors. The event featured 42 booths and 15 aircraft on static display, as well as education sessions on light business airplane safety management, tax planning for business aircraft owners, aircraft insurance and how to transition from a piston-powered airplane to a very light jet.

Greenville Downtown Airport is actively promoted to the local community and features a public park for plane-watching, a contest that awards discovery flights as prizes and a ramp-side cafe open seven days a week.