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Regional Representation

Regional Groups Connecting With Smaller Operators

Regional business aviation groups are a key link to the thousands of small aviation operations whose challenges and concerns are often substantially different from those of large flight departments.

“Local and regional groups are the frontline for connecting with small operators,” said David Keys, chair of NBAA’s Small Flight Department Subcommittee. “We want to know what they need, what their struggles are.”

Keys was a speaker at a virtual regional group town hall meeting held in April by NBAA’s Local and Regional Group Committee. He urged the groups to reach out to the 80% of NBAA operating companies that are small operators – those with two or fewer aircraft and typically two pilots.

“Local and regional groups are the frontline for connecting with small operators. We want to know what they need, what their struggles are.”

David Keys Chair, NBAA Small Flight Department Subcommittee

“We are excited about forming partnerships with regional groups to help provide resources to these small departments and getting information back from them,” said Keys, noting that some of the resources available include subject-matter speakers, white papers, podcasts and a small operator symposium at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition.

Keys added that the Small Flight Department Subcommittee is focusing on small operator safety and professionalism and is developing additional tools – including a video – to further those objectives. Resources to help small operators with their unique budgeting issues are also being developed, and regional groups can play a key role in awareness and distribution of these tools.

During the recent town hall meeting, the Central Florida Business Aviation Association (CFBAA) announced the launch of a Young Professional (YoPro) Committee, which had its first in-person get together at the Sun ‘n Fun event in Lakeland.

“We have a big education community and a young workforce in Florida, so a YoPro group makes sense,” said CFBAA Vice President Matt Olafsen. “The YoPros hope to focus on networking and mentoring.”

Sierra Grimes, NBAA senior manager of government affairs, says that local aviation community involvement is a great tool for YoPros as they navigate the professional pipeline.

“We expect more local and regional groups will soon have YoPro engagement at the leadership level, as well,” she said.

Town hall attendees were also urged to use video and other technologies as part of their regional group outreach to students and young people. GoPro and smartphone cameras are easy enough to use that almost anyone can shoot and edit short videos about aviation careers and other aviation topics.

Review NBAA’s regional group resources at

ORBAA Moving Forward in the Buckeye State

With several in-person social events on the books, a November training event scheduled and the annual golf outing set for early August, things are getting back to normal for the Ohio Regional Business Aviation Association (ORBAA).

For ORBAA President Scott Kennedy, this can’t come soon enough.

“It’s so important to maintain the connection with our members and for them to network,” said Kennedy. “We are also looking forward to reinvigorating our three pillars – business aviation advocacy, workforce development, and training and education.”

ORBAA’s workforce-development efforts have grown over the years. The organization is co-sponsoring some aviation camps this summer, continues to have a robust scholarship program, and more members are offering internships. ORBAA has traditionally had a strong relationship with the many colleges and universities in Ohio that have aviation programs, and Kennedy is looking forward to strengthening those connections.

ORBAA advocates for business aviation interests across the state, and its advocacy committee makes a point of getting to know state legislators.

“It’s so important to have that relationship in advance of any proposed legislation,” said Kennedy.

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