Tuesday and Wednesday will start in the most epic and exciting way with NBAA-BACE Keynotes! This year, the presentations are bringing innovation, motivation and inspiration, to the stage – and straight to you.

Day 1 Keynote

Tuesday, Oct. 18
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Exhibit Hall, Orange County Convention Center


Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Famed NASCAR Driver

With back-to-back NASCAR Infinity Series titles in 1998 and 1999, Earnhardt became the only third-generation NASCAR champion, following his legendary father Dale Earnhardt Sr., and his grandfather Ralph Earnhardt. In total, Dale Earnhardt amassed 26 career victories throughout his racing career, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s.

Since 2006, Earnhardt also has served as owner of JR Motorsports, which fields four full-time entries that have scored 40 wins in the Xfinity Series, in addition to two late model stock cars competing regionally in the Southeast.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson


Widely acclaimed astrophysicist, author and science commentator Neil deGrasse Tyson will present compelling visuals and one-of-a-kind perspectives about America’s reach for distant horizons. Tyson has sold out theaters and been a regular fixture for international news outlets seeking his observations on the latest images coming from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope detailing stars and galaxies as far as 290 million light years from Earth.

Tyson is the author of a number of books aimed at furthering an understanding of space and the universe, including the forthcoming “Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization.” He also maintains a popular social media presence, through which he engages with millions of followers on a variety of topics. His podcast, StarTalk, has a wide following, has been on air since 2009 and has 767 episodes.

Educated in the New York City public school system, Tyson graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and his PhD in astrophysics from Columbia University. He is the recipient of 21 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the agency’s highest award for a non-government citizen.

Billy Nolen

Billy Nolen

Acting FAA Administrator

Nolen was named acting FAA administrator in March of this year. He joined the agency in January 2022 as associate administrator for aviation safety.

Nolen is a former commercial airline captain and has held several industry safety roles, including as senior vice president for safety, security and operations at Airlines for America and executive manager for group safety and health at Qantas Airways.

Prior to coming to the FAA, Nolan served as vice president for safety, security and quality for Canada’s WestJet Airlines. He also led the Aviation Safety Action Program at American Airlines.

Nolen also is a U.S. Army veteran fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter pilot. He holds a Bachelor of Science in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as specialized aviation safety management certificates from the University of Southern California, U.S. Army Safety Center and the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.

Patrick Ky

Patrick Ky

EASA Executive Director

Ky has served as European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) executive director since 2013. His mission has been to establish and maintain a robust and safe European aviation system for the travelling public. Ky has 30 years of experience in Civil Aviation.

Before joining EASA, he was in charge of SESAR, the single European sky digitalisation programme. He also held various positions in the French Civil Aviation Authority, EUROCONTROL and the European Commission.

A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and the Civil Aviation Engineering School in France, he holds postgraduate degrees in economics from the University of Toulouse and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Day 2 Keynote

Wednesday, Oct. 19
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Exhibit Hall, Orange County Convention Center


Monica Barbaro

Featured Speaker

Monica Barbaro

Actress in “Top Gun: Maverick”

A talented and charismatic actress, Barbaro most recently starred opposite Tom Cruise and Miles Teller in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Barbaro plays “Phoenix,” the sole female fighter pilot among the new recruits in the film.

Barbaro underwent intense flight training for her role in the film and became a certified pilot during the making of the movie

Early next year, Barbaro will star opposite Diego Boneta in Paramount Plus’ romantic comedy “At Midnight,” which will serve as the banner title of the streamer’s Latin American originals production. She most recently wrapped production on Netflix’s upcoming global spy adventure series opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, where the duo will play father and daughter.

Barbaro is perhaps best known for her role as “Yael” on the second season of the critically acclaimed Lifetime television series, “Unreal,” which chronicles the chaos of production behind the scenes of a dating competition program.

Born and raised in California, Barbaro is a classically trained ballet dancer and has also studied modern dance, salsa, flamenco and West African dance.

Kevin LaRosa II

Kevin LaRosa II

Aerial Coordinator and Stunt Pilot

LaRosa is a third-generation pilot and second-generation aerial coordinator and stunt pilot. Known for his work on major blockbusters like “The Avengers” (2012), “Iron Man” (2005) and “Transformers: The Last Knight” (2017), LaRosa as worked on more than 100 motion picture and commercial productions.

By the time he was 18, LaRosa was a commercially rated helicopter and multi-engine fixed wing pilot, and today he is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after pilot and aerial coordinators – an ATP-rated pilot, trained and certified in a multitude of aircraft.

He also holds type ratings in several Learjet models in addition to the C-130/ L-382 Hercules and the Sikorsky S-70/ UH-60, as well as an FAA Part 107 UAS rating for flying unmanned aircraft.

Frank Weisser

Frank Weisser

Blue Angels Pilot

U.S. Navy Commander Weisser is a Blue Angels Pilot who was deployed in combat three separate times, including to Afghanistan and Iraq.

He flew in the front seat as pilot for some of “Top Gun: Maverick’s” most memorable scenes, including the one in which Tom Cruise blisters through a twisting canyon uncomfortably close to rocky cliffs and the ground at lightning speeds. By completing that canyon course in 2:15 in the movie, Cruise was able to show his Navy bosses that, in fact, the combat mission his pilots were tasked with could be completed.

A native of Atlanta, GA, Weisser joined the Blue Angels in September 2007. He has accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours and nearly 500 carrier arrested landings. He earned a master’s degree in systems analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in September 2009. His decorations include multiple Meritorious Service Medals, Strike Flight Air Medals and various personal and unit awards.

He is type rated in the Gulfstream 450/550 and is the developer and manager of a private airpark in the North Georgia Mountains.

Tammie Jo Shults

Tammie Jo Shults

Legendary Pilot, Aviation Advocate and Author

On April 17, 2018, as captain of Flight 1380 en route to Dallas Love Field (DAL) from New York LaGuardia (LGA), Shults successfully landed the Boeing 737 at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) after an uncontained engine failure damaged the aircraft’s fuselage and caused rapid decompression of the cabin. Shults’s actions that day — which are detailed in her best-selling book, Nerves of Steel — saved the lives of 148 passengers and crew.

Since that fateful day, Shults has been an effective advocate for the aviation industry, having served on the Department of Transportation’s Women in Aviation Advisory Board, and currently serving on the Pearl Harbor Aviation Board and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Board. She has received numerous awards — including the Wings Club of New York’s Outstanding Aviator Award for 2022 — and has been inducted into the International Aviation Hall of Fame.

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