It’s official. Crowds are thinner at this year’s NBAA in Orlando. Organizers report that 21,807 people registered for the convention yesterday, the show’s opening day. That’s down 22 percent from record attendance of 29,350 a year ago.
The figures aren’t surprising, however, given how hard the industry has been hit by the economic crisis.
Still, said NBAA’s Patrick Dunne, “It’s going well; we’re having a strong show.”
Tuesday’s crowds on the exhibit floor seem down from past years as well. As one show veteran put it earlier this morning, ”You could roll a bowling ball through there and not hit anyone.”
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Attendance has since picked up, and the exhibit floor is much busier right now.
Beautiful but windy weather Tuesday helped attendance out at the static display yesterday.
“Hawker Beechcraft’s static display was well attended,” said company spokeswoman Nicole Alexander. ”I’m very pleased with opening day attendance.”
And Embraer officials report that crowds were long to get inside the Phenom 100 at the static display yesterday.
I’m heading out there this afternoon.