You would expect more cheers than tears at any industry gathering. Still, the news out of last week’s National Business Aviation Association convention seemed unusually upbeat, raising hopes that a rebound for Wichita’s planemakers may be real this time.
The Eagle’s aviation reporter, Molly McMillin, won her own richly deserved honor at the Las Vegas event, the NBAA’s 2013 Gold Wing Award for journalism excellence. And her reporting from the convention portrayed a brightening picture for business aviation after several years of canceled orders, mass layoffs and presidential put-downs.
Among the welcome developments:
NBAA president Ed Bolen set his own optimistic tone: “We’re now five years into the Great Recession. Things fell off for us pretty significantly. Things were tough. People made adjustments. But you know what? Through it all, the people in our industry continued to invest in new products. They continued to invest in the future. We never ate the seed corn. And today we’re seeing a lot of that coming to the market. We’re seeing all of that investment coming to fruition.”
Business aviation appears ready to grow. Now, if only leaders in Washington, D.C., will do their part to foster a business environment that is stable and inviting.