NATA Fall Event To Tackle Issues Around Demand Uptick

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Incorporating a few changes to its annual fall Aviation Business Conference, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is tailoring the event to foster collaborative discussions on strengthening the industry and making it safer as it addresses the current surge in demand.

Typically held in Washington, D.C., with a focus on government and regulatory issues, NATA’s fall conference this year will take place November 3 and 4 in Miami, piggybacking with the Corporate Jet Investor Miami event. The agenda, NATA said, focuses on the future and covers emerging trends, lessons of the past two years, and challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

While not underplaying the importance of regulation and legislation for the industry, NATA senior v-p Ryan Waguespack said the industry needs to engage on key issues, such as safety and workforce, as it deals with preparing for the future. The uptick in demand is good business for everyone, he said, but he asked how the industry will manage once the airlines begin looking to business aviation for hires, as it was beginning to do before the pandemic.

He also expressed concern that the market opens the possibility for illegal charter or unsafe practices by some operators.

Waguespack added that the industry must create a positive experience to retain customers, as well as to prepare for what happens after the surge. Further, it must work through issues surrounding the acceptance of SAF and the emergence of eVTOLs.

“The volume is through the roof,” he said, adding that this presents “an amazing opportunity to learn from each other and improve as an industry. Let’s be better…better than we thought we could be.”

But Waguespack added that can only happen if the industry fosters communication, collaboration, and engagement, rather than working in competitive silos. Operators and service providers also need to work together, he added.

The conference is targeting senior leadership—CEOs and COOs—he said.

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