The ribbon was snipped at the 58th annual NBAA conference this morning, opening the three-day convention to delegates and exhibitors.
Ed Bolen, NBAA president and chief executive, opened the ceremonies to a full house and focused on safety, economics before closing the ceremony with the 2005 Harry Combs Award, made to support and encourage continuing aviation heritage research and preservation efforts.
Ellen Engleman Connors, chairman designate of the US National Transportation Safety Board, expressed her low expectations for complete safety: “You must strive to achieve zero - zero accidents and fatalities,” she said, adding that after 9/11, increased airport security is a necessity.
Robert Jamison, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deputy director, took a four-pronged approach: airport security, anti-terrorist planning, early intervention and restructuring of the TSA to meet needs and appropriate resource use.
Forbes publisher Rick Carlgaard discussed the conditions of the economic market. He willed his audience to look for new business in the most unexpected places, focusing energies on companies like Skype instead of South Bell.
Bolen attacked proposals for one-rate user fees for all aircraft, where Cessna CitationX charges would be the same as for a commercial liner carrying 500 passengers. Bolen appealed to the audience to make their voices heard by contacting Congress via their website.
Ending the ceremonies on a high note, three legends took the stage: US astronaut Gene Cernan, Scottie Crossfield, the first man to break and survive Mach 3, and test pilot Bob Hoover, who presented the 2005 Harry Combs Award (including a $20,000) to Jay Miller, an aviation author and historian.