Airports team up for trade show
Oct. 15, 2013
...For the first time ever, airports from Pensacola to Tallahassee next week will team up at
a trade show in a single, large exhibit as part of a new marketing strategy to draw more
aerospace companies to the Panhandle.
...“A larger exhibit provides greater visibility,” said Mike Stenson, deputy director of
Okaloosa County Airports, which oversees a commercial, general aviation and industry
airport. “Our booth will be four times larger than we have had in previous years and
create a better environment to collectively show the aerospace capabilities of the region.”
...The National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and
Exhibition in Las Vegas is Oct. 22-24. It will feature the major airframe manufacturers and
suppliers, and will include exhibits showcasing technology products and services.
...It’s the first trade shows since Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW) announced in
September that it was spearheading an 18-month marketing strategy for the 16-county
Panhandle. Attending trade shows is a key piece of the strategy, officials said.
...Pensacola International Airport, Okaloosa County Airports, Northwest Florida Beaches
International Airport and Tallahassee Regional Airport will work together under the FGNW
banner. Combined the four commercial airports had 1,868,440 enplanements in 2012,
according to figures released last month by the Federal Aviation Administration.
...“Pensacola International Airport is excited to collaborate with Florida’s Great Northwest
and the other airports in the region to market opportunities to aviation businesses,” said
Greg Donovan, executive director of Pensacola International, which hopes to interest
companies in the 350 acres it has available.
...“NBAA is the sixth largest trade show in the world and will have 25,000 attendees.
Anytime that we can work together to convey the brand, communicate attributes of our
region, and build relationships with perspective businesses, it is a win for our future,” said
Donovan.
...Stenson said many of the airports and Florida’s Great Northwest exhibited in the past at
NBAA separately, or at least attended the show. But this is the first time they have joined
together with a single exhibit.
...“Exhibiting as a group allows us to increase our exposure and presence,” said Stenson,
whose organization oversees the county's commercial airport at Eglin Air Force Base, the
general aviation facility in Destin and the industrial airport in Crestview.
...The new marketing effort is part of a much larger push across the Gulf Coast Interstate
10 region to leverage Airbus' decision to build a $600 million A320 final assembly line at
Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Ala. Officials from Airbus have said the plant will have a big
impact well beyond Mobile.
...“Our team will be showcasing the many positives of doing business in Florida and will
articulate to the worldwide aviation industry why Florida is the most conducive business
environment for future growth,” said Donovan. --
David Tortorano, GCAC, 10/15/13