Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, was getting the word out last week at the NBAA Regional Forum in Van Nuys about its new facility in Hayward, CA, just 350 miles up the road. It was an important event for Meridian to communicate its future plans for the region because the new FBO and hangar facility at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) is expected to be open for business this fall. For the first time, the company will have FBOs on both coasts. Seven representatives were there to help deliver the message from various business units, including Air Charter, Aircraft Management, Customer Service, Fuel Sales, and Marketing.
The Forum, held on Thursday, June 9, set a new record for number of attendees and indoor exhibitors for the venue, as about 2,000 people came out to hear from industry officials about the latest business aviation news, meet with the 145 exhibitors on a sold-out exhibit floor and have a look at the 21 aircraft and five vehicles on a sold-out static display. Historic Van Nuys Airport (VNY) contributes about $1.3 billion to the local economy, said Jeffery Daar, a commissioner for Los Angeles World Airports, which oversees VNY.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen took the opportunity to update attendees on the FAA reauthorization debate underway in Congress. The current funding extension for the FAA expires on July 15. In April, the Senate overwhelmingly passed H.R.636, with strong bipartisan support. The bill, Bolen noted, addresses many key issues ranging from streamlining the certification process to security issues, to the use of unmanned aircraft systems. However, Bolen continued, the Senate bill does not include a “dangerous” proposal to privatize the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, fund it with user fees and have it overseen by an airline-centric board of directors – a proposal contained in the House version of the legislation, Bolen said. Read more about NBAA’s support for H.R.636.
“It remains vital that the nation’s airports and airspace continue to function in the public interest, rather than at the behest of a private entity,” Bolen concluded. “We want the U.S. to remain the world leader in aviation five, 10 and 25 years from now, without going down the risky path of turning over the air traffic system over to a combination of self-interested parties.
Forum attendees also heard from Jess Romo, VNY manager, and Glen Martin, FAA regional administrator of the Western-Pacific region, during the opening session. Following that, three education sessions were offered. A session entitled, “A Buyer’s Guide to a Successful Aircraft Transactions” was presented by Stephen Hofer, Aerlex Law Group; “Creating Public-Private Partnerships at Business Aviation Airports” was presented by Curt Castagna, Van Nuys Airport Association and; Sonnie Bates and Terry Yeomans from the International Business Aviation Council conducted a session on the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling.
The next NBAA Regional Forum will be held on Thursday, September 15 at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, NY.