The National Business Aviation Association has called off the 2020 edition of its annual NBAA/BACE trade show due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The show had been scheduled for October 6-8, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.
In a press release issued late yesterday, NBAA said that the event was cancelled due to a variety of factors, all of which are related to the pandemic. “The cancellation,” the release said, “is based on clear guidance from public health officials at all levels of government addressing the unique, complex COVID-19 related challenges associated with large indoor venues.”
Weeks ago Plane & Pilot had called for NBAA to cancel the show in the face of language from NBAA that seemed firm in its resolve to hold the event despite the pandemic, though in recent days there were signs that the organization might have had a July 1, 2020, deadline on making the decision all along.
The setting for this year’s event, Orlando, Florida, was problematic, as the release pointed out: “For example, the Florida Department of Health has recently issued an advisory recommending that individuals avoid participation in gatherings of more than 50 people.” Around 25,000 attendees head to NBAA/BACE every year, and there are typically about 1,000 exhibitors. This year, just fewer than half pulled out due to the pandemic.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen likened the call to cancel to the kind of aeronautical decision making that pilots make all the time, writing, “NBAA has always advised its members to conduct a thorough risk evaluation before every flight to determine whether or not the mission can be safely conducted. We have brought that same discipline to the upcoming NBAA-BACE, and we regret that this year’s event must be grounded.”
Bolen said that NBAA staff would immediately begin preparations for the 2021 event, scheduled for October 12-14, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.