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Long Beach, CA, Feb. 9, 2018 – The National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2018) demonstrated once again this year its continuing value as the premier educational and networking event for professionals involved in business aviation mission logistics, with this year’s show again setting records.
The 2018 edition of the event featured more than 550 exhibit booths on a sold-out exhibit floor – a record for the event. More than 2,900 attendees, including more than 150 first-time attendees, participated in this year’s conference.
“This is the place for a scheduler or dispatcher to go for professional development and education,” said NBAA Vice President of Operational Excellence and Professional Development Mike Nichols, CAM. “Especially for someone brand new to the industry, it’s one-stop shopping for what they need to know, not only with great education sessions, but also with the peer-to-peer learning that happens outside of the education sessions on the trade show floor.”
Focusing on this year’s conference theme, “Pursuing Your Passion,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed attendees to the conference by noting that passion is a “hallmark” of the business aviation industry. “We care about aviation, we care about people, and that is reflected in everything about SDC,” he said. Attendees also heard from two keynote speakers: four-time Olympic luger Ruben Gonzalez and Shaesta Waiz, the youngest woman to complete a solo flight around the world.
Paying It Forward
As has long been a tradition at SDC, the conference included a charitable element, which this year was expanded to feature an education initiative, as well as a charitable fitness event called Fit 4 Duty Fun Walk/Run.
“Our attendees now automatically think to bring gently worn business attire to SDC, which they no longer wear, for donation to local charities. We get tremendous support from the industry,” said NBAA Senior Director of Educational Strategy Jo Damato, CAM, who served as the liaison to the Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee. “We would like to continue the fitness element going forward and adapt it to each host city.”
Three charities were received support through this year’s Pay It Forward campaign: Dress for Success, Pacific Gateway and Clothes the Deal, all of which help men and women in the Long Beach community.
The educational initiative, created by the SDC Advisory Council, included bringing in Waiz as a guest speaker to a Long Beach high school. The effort and also included taking a group of 30 students to Long Beach Airport to talk with various tenants about the numerous career opportunities within business aviation.
“They created a model that theoretically could be applied not only to future SDCs, but could inspire other committees and conferences,” said Damato. “The need to bring new talent into the business aviation workforce is not going away.”
Educational Content on Target
With more than 30 education sessions offered, SDC2018 had something for everyone, noted Tyler Austin, manager of professional development at NBAA, and staff liaison to the committee.
“The education was clearly on point this year – as attendees completed the sessions, they told us the content was highly valued and needed,” said Austin. “We were strategic in thinking through what we should offer in our 33-session program, and we listened closely to what attendees said they wanted – from the basics of scheduling to operating internationally, to starting their own aviation businesses.”
Monetary and training scholarships have also traditionally been awarded as part of SDC, and that was the case again this year, with dozens of awards announced at this year’s show.
Also, the 10th annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award was presented to Ohio Regional Business Aviation Association board member Lisa Swartzwelder. Read more about Swartzwelder and the award.
The 2019 Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, which marks the event’s 30th anniversary, is set for Jan. 29-Feb. 1 in San Antonio, TX. Learn more about SDC2019.