The take away from this year’s NBAA’s massive gathering in Las Vegas is that Business Aviation is doing well, all things considered, and the future holds great promise.
Over 25,000 participants registered by the time NBAA CEO Ed Bolen convened the Opening General Session Tuesday morning, and more than 100 aircraft were on static display at Henderson Airport nearby. When BACE for 2015 concludes on Thursday, total attendance will approach 27,000.
While Honeywell Aerospace’s forecast released each year at NBAA projected that business jets manufactured will be down about 3 to 5 percent over the next decade compared with data published in 2014, total aircraft delivered through 2025 are estimated to be 9,200 units valued at $270 billion—certainly impressive numbers that indicate a robust demand for Business Aviation.
News from Textron Aviation reflects the confidence manufacturers hold for the future. The Wichita company’s Hemisphere, a large cabin aircraft with a range of 4,500nm, is projected to fly in 2019. A second large-cabin aircraft from Cessna, the Longitude, was displayed as an engineering mockup built to current design specs. The third example to Cessna’s belief in the future is its Latitude, currently certified and in service.
Activities of other OEMs also supported the assertion that Business Aviation anticipates a strong demand as the global economy recovers.
Connectivity between aircraft and ground seemed to be THE topic at this year’s BACE.
Clearly operators and OEMs believe that a business aircraft must serve as an “office that moves”, providing unrestrained capability for passengers to communicate with their ground-based colleagues and customers. Flight crews and maintenance professionals also are demanding data links that communicate aircraft health and performance parameters to ground personnel, thereby offering management the means for improving operational efficiency and safety.
If there was one message from avionics firms, service providers and airframe OEMs, as well as from operators, it was that connectivity is the new front for achieving competitive advantage in addressing the needs of Business Aviation.
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