Nov 1, 2023

A busy 2023 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas was a celebration of the industry’s ingenuity that showcased its commitment to net-zero emissions, its growing appeal to young workers and its ability to attract and maintain the new entrants that flocked to business aviation during the pandemic.
That was the conclusion of a panel of industry association leaders on the recent NBAA Though Leadership webinar, “Ears to the Ground at 2023 NBAA-BACE,” sponsored by Mesinger Jet Sales.

“NBAA-BACE is a three-day celebration of all things business aviation. It’s the biggest business aviation event and the largest purely civil aviation conference in the world. And like all trade shows, it is an opportunity for buyers and sellers to come together,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“But it is so much more than just a trade show, too,” he added. “NBAA-BACE is an opportunity for our industry to celebrate who we are and promote innovations in safety, sustainability, technology and the workforce. In so many respects, the 2023 NBAA-BACE was truly extraordinary,”

A New Campaign

A highlight of the show was the launch of the advocacy campaign Climbing. Fast., Bolen noted. Learn more about Climbing. Fast.

“The entire business aviation community has come together with Climbing. Fast. to make sure the world knows business aviation is on a mission to net zero by 2050,” he added. “We have been working for decades to reduce our industry’s environmental footprint, with carbon emissions down 40% in just four decades and new aircraft being up to 35% more efficient than the model they replace.

“We are also at the forefront of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and our commitment to producing more SAF and driving down the price to make it more accessible is unwavering; SAF is a major contributor, along with technological innovation, to getting to net zero,” Bolen explained.

Pete Bunce, president and CEO of General Aviation Manufacturers Association, said he sees Climbing. Fast. achieving the same success as the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign.

“Climbing. Fast. is providing the business aviation community with the tools to go out and advocate at that grassroots level. I think that will be extremely effective and will energize our community to get the things that need to be done up on Capitol Hill,” he said. “We are the technology incubator in our sector … and people need to understand what our industry brings to the sustainability effort.”

Staying Power

The 2023 NBAA-BACE also showcased a growing interest in business aviation among younger generations and, crucially, a solid commitment to the industry from the buyers who purchased their first business aircraft during the pandemic, said Bolen, who noted that this NBAA-BACE was the first for one-third of the attendees.

Wayne Starling, executive director of the International Aircraft Dealers Association, confirmed that first-time buyers appear to be staying.

“There was a concern that we’d see a rush to sell when things normalized after the pandemic, but I’m excited to say our members say this isn’t happening,” he said. “This is a testament to the value of business aviation, with these first-time buyers still realizing that an aircraft is a business tool and a useful asset for their families.”

Las Vegas in 2024

This year’s show proved that it is a singular opportunity for the business aviation community to meet, build networks, discuss solutions to common challenges and recruit new people, noted Bolen.

“It’s exciting to see industry organizations meeting with regulators and aircraft dealers talking to their customers alongside manufacturers and aspiring students,” said Bolen. “This is where the magic happens, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Las Vegas.”

Any person who attends an NBAA convention, conference, seminar or other program grants permission to NBAA, its employees and agents (collectively "NBAA") to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, voices, sound or video recordings, audio clips, or accompanying written descriptions, and, without notifying such person, to use his or her name and such images for any purpose of NBAA, including advertisements for NBAA and its programs.

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