Annual conventions held throughout the past year by owner/pilot associations (OPAs) have provided a welcome opportunity for NBAA’s regional directors to engage with this important segment of the business aviation community and learn firsthand about the latest matters affecting them.
“Owner/pilots represent a growing group of NBAA members,” said NBAA Southeast Regional Director Greg Voos. “Attending OPA regional conventions allows us to engage in their conversations and develop strategies to better support them in the future.”
In September, Voos participated in the 2022 TBM Owner Pilot Association (TBMOPA) Convention held in Nashville, TN, where he discussed with members some of the most pressing challenges facing owner/operators, including high insurance rates.
“Attending OPA regional conventions allows us to engage in their conversations and develop strategies to better support them in the future.”
Greg Voos NBAA Southeast Regional Director
Insurance was also a key topic of conversation at the 2022 Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP) convention in Austin, TX, attended by Steve Hadley, NBAA’s director of regional programs and Southwest regional director.
“Older pilots, in particular, are very concerned about securing insurance at reasonable rates – or at all, in some cases – and meeting training requirements,” Hadley said. “Owners are also keeping close track of supply chain issues, especially tires.”
CJP attendees also discussed how flight data monitoring and flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) programs could help mitigate safety concerns.
“Owner/pilots want better data transfer capabilities from airframe, engine and avionics OEMs,” Hadley said. “That information can identify maintenance trends and operational issues before they escalate into larger problems that could result in accidents.”
Voos noted such insights highlight the importance of collaboration between owner/pilot associations and NBAA.
“During my conversations, I was able to highlight the recently created NBAA Owner/Pilot Association Coalition (OPAC) which brings single-pilot operator associations together in a roundtable discussion of these universal concerns,” he said.
“That enables us to present a strengthened, targeted and unified voice to help identify solutions and help owner/pilots succeed.”
Scholarships a Key Focus for Arizona Business Aviation Association
After COVID-19 hampered fundraising efforts over the past two years, the Arizona Business Aviation Association (AZBAA) rebounded in 2022 by awarding $45,000 in scholarships to aviation students in the Grand Canyon State.
“We are extremely proud to offer this financial assistance, which they can apply to tuition or flight training,” said Christian Lambert, chair of AZBAA’s Scholarship & Education Committee. “It’s all thanks to our fantastic members and the success of our golf fundraiser earlier this year.”
Workforce development has been a core part of AZBAA since its founding in 2000. Based in Scottsdale, the group counts more than 150 members, ranging from individuals to large companies.
“Regional groups are vital in reaching out to upcoming young professionals and passing the baton to them,” said AZBAA President Douglas Young. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for me learning about this group and interacting with our members.”
Another, near-term priority for the group is assisting Scottsdale Airport (SDL) and other GA airfields in the Valley of the Sun in preparations for back-to-back events next year. The annual WM Phoenix Open golf tournament, which is expected to bring 300,000 people to the area, begins Feb. 6, 2023 and ends Feb. 12 – the same day that nearby Glendale will host Super Bowl LVII.