The 2018 National Business Aviation Association Convention was rife with good news for most all attendees, as manufacturers, service providers – and even the government – announced new and renewed products and services.
The convention hall was chock-a-block with elaborate booth displays for the 25,000 attendees to view. Owners and their advisors willing to brave 90 degree temperatures with 90% humidity at the Orlando Executive Airport static display had their choice of touring recently introduced or brand new aircraft. Large-cabin/long-range aircraft were on display, including the Gulfstream G500, Bombardier’s Global 6000/7000 – soon to be the 6500/7500 powered by the new Rolls-Royce Pearl engine – as well as Dassault Falcon Jet’s 8X and the 6X mockup. Embraer’s just-announced super-midsize Embraer Praetor 500 and 600 were there too, as well as the Cessna Longitude, Pilatus PC-24, and Honda Jet.
The industry news was good as well. Virtually all bizav segments – Part 91/91k owner and fractional flying, and Part 135 charter – have seen healthy year-over-year increases in flight activity through August, according to aviation research company Argus International’s TraqPak data. While Labor Day and Hurricane Michael slowed September flying in most segments, Argus expected activity in October 2018 to surpass last October by 2.3%, reaching the 280,000 flight mark for the first time in a decade.
The preowned aircraft inventory continues to shrink. Asset Insight’s data show that “jet aircraft for sale” inventory decreased by 2.4% through September, though the turboprop inventory increased by 1.4%. Market intelligence company JETNET LLC’s data indicate that June’s preowned aircraft inventory for business jets dropped to its lowest point since 2008 – good news for owners looking to sell or trade current equipment.
The future for new aircraft sales looks bright too. JETNET’s ten-year forecast foresees 7,807 business jets delivered through 2027, with 2019 showing a 9% increase over 2018 alone. And while the shrinking preowned inventory bodes well for residual values going forward, the continued technological advances likely will require regular aircraft updating to preserve those values. Complying with mandates like the 2020 ADS-B deadline are one thing – keeping up with newer aircraft offerings will mean harnessing the greater navigational and communications capabilities offered by new avionics suites shown by Universal Avionics, Garmin, Honeywell, and Rockwell Collins, by retrofit if necessary.
Perhaps most importantly – and most surprisingly – was Congress’ passage of a five-year FAA reauthorization bill for the first time in more than 35 years. Dave Collogan details what that means to you and the traveling public at large in this issue’s Washington Report. So on behalf of all aircraft owners, users, and aviation professionals the world over, thank you for your calls to your own delegation. BAA
Publisher of Business Aviation Advisor, has nearly 50 years in business aviation including executive positions at aircraft management/charter and ground services companies. He is a past director of the NATA and Corporate Angel Network.