Oct. 17, 2022

The inaugural Newsmakers Breakfast held Monday at the 2022 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Orlando, FL, focused on the need to balance ongoing technological, environmental and geopolitical challenges in working toward aviation’s exciting, innovative and sustainable future.

Bringing together international media representatives, industry leaders and other aviation stakeholders, the breakfast centered around a candid and insightful discussion between Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen and noted aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory.

Aboulafia began the conversation by noting ongoing strife in the global environment. “We [must] acknowledge it’s a difficult time in the world,” Allen agreed, “But we can feel great about the roles of aviation and connectivity in a world that’s teetering a little bit against connectivity right now.”

Allen cited several Boeing programs focused on advancing the future of aviation and aerospace, from the 737-MAX series of airliners to the CST-100 Starliner reusable space capsule and Space Launch System rocket poised to lift off on its first flight to the moon next month.

Each of those programs encompass three primary focus areas for the company: digital environments, sustainability and autonomy. Allen noted those areas also drive growth across all its business segments, including business aviation.

“You can also see this Wisk Aero, our partnership in developing an autonomous electric eVTOL platform,” he continued. “One of the things that we probably don’t talk about enough as an industry is how to grow the whole category [and] how do we get more people into bizav and commercial av altogether? That will lift this timeline for innovation.”

Sustainability is another important focus area, in both the context of environmental stewardship and in attracting the future aviation workforce. “Sustainability is also one of the themes of [NBAA-BACE] and it’s at the heart of how we grow the category,” Allen added.

Despite current obstacles, Allen reiterated global collaboration and connectivity remain vital to advancing the future of aviation. “I don’t think [present conflicts] will prove to be a lasting change in weight from global innovation,” he said, “but clearly this is going to really stress lasting relationships between [some] countries.

“At the end of the day I’m going to bet on the American model of innovation, which is risk taking [and] incredibly energized talent that looks for challenges, solves them and finds rewards in the marketplace by creating value for customers,” he said.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen thanked Allen for his participation at NBAA-BACE, particularly as he was heading next from Orlando to a Boeing board meeting in Washington, DC Monday afternoon. “We wanted to celebrate 75 years of NBAA by looking at the future, and I can’t imagine anyone better to do that.”

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