Beginner’s guide to NBAA-BACE 2016 in Orlando


NBAA 2016

The one thing you need to know about the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention and Annual Expo (BACE) is that it is big. There are more than 15,000 people and over 1200 stands. If you spent one minute visiting every stand, it would take you more than 18.5 hours – almost the full three days that the show is open.

Walking between the ends of one hall can easily take 15 minutes. You should wear comfortable shoes. Women (or men) who want to wear heels should also take flat shoes.

Where are the aircraft?

Because it is so big, most of the aircraft that are on display are parked at Orlando Executive Airport. The static display is about 35 minutes away by coach.

Generally, people who sell aircraft – manufacturers, brokers and others – stay at the static for at least the Monday and Tuesday. Senior managers at manufacturers often flit between both. Engine manufacturers and customer support people at aircraft manufacturers are usually in the exhibition halls. These rules will not of course apply to your meeting, so make sure you check.

The coach is pleasant (air conditioned and free wifi) but takes up a lot of time. You ideally want to block out one morning or afternoon in each place. Many people choose to visit the static during the Tuesday afternoon as OEMs often have cocktail parties then. If you do attend a cocktail party make sure you check the time of the last bus as it can be hard to get a taxi back.

What to wear

NBAA specifies business attire. This can mean anything from a suit to polo shirts (often branded). You will spot a few cowboy boots and hats. No one will listen to this, but flat shoes are recommended.

What do you call it?

The association is keen to brand it as BACE – similar to EBACE (Europe) and ABACE (China). So far this has not caught on and most attendees call it NBAA.

What do you do if you cannot make it?

We will be covering all of the main news. This year there will also be a daily live video TV programme from GearUpTV

Key events

Monday October 30
Press day and exhibition set up day
A busy day for journalists and OEMs. The halls are only open to exhibitors and are frankly pretty dangerous with forklift trucks racing around.

For many involved in aircraft transactions the show starts with the National Aircraft Finance Association and National Aircraft Resale Association Cocktail Reception. This is open to anyone, but you pay to attend.

Tuesday November 1
The halls open at 10am for visitors (exhibitors can get in earlier) and shut at 6pm. Many stands have cocktail parties in the afternoon.

The static opens at 9am and shuts at 6pm.

Wednesday November 2
Halls and static open at 9am and shut at 5pm.

A much quieter day but can be a good one for meetings. Halls open at 9am and shut at 4pm, the static shuts at 3pm.