September 11, 2013 | bevel wise
With so many resources available to aviation professionals today, many aircraft operators and flight departments (small and large alike) can easily find themselves lost trying to find a reliable information source to answer questions that impact their operations. To make matters worse, the digital age has led many of us to become the victim of search bars and one-click ads rather than seeking out beneficial relationships that can provide knowledgeable insight to even the most complex of issues.Fortunately, the tide is changing thanks in part to the development of multiple strong aviation advocacy groups within our industry. Groups such as the NBAA and AOPA not only maintain their own massive databases of reliable and timely information, they’ve turned into a trusted and unified voice for our industry.Even at their best however, these groups provide only a starting point to the foundation of knowledge most of us would prefer to seek at a local level. Beginning to fill the void, some of the most important organizations within our industry are now regional aviation advocacy groups where local professionals can now leverage the resources and knowledge of their neighbors.
In existence since 1999 as a (then) informal group that initially intended to “reach out to local aviation professionals”; the PNBAA has steadily grown to become a well-respected and extremely well represented organization within the aviation community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Today, PNBAA’s membership and associates encompass a broad spectrum of the Northwest aviation community: operators, support organizations, vendors and individual aviation professionals.
At its inception, the group’s mission was simple: “Keep the focus upon operators while making the group self-perpetuating and limiting solicitations to its members.”The group, which was then led by Mark McIntyre, Chief Pilot, Mente, LLC, might have remained informal had it not been for Richard Keltner, insurance broker (now with Global Aerospace), and Gene Clow, aircraft broker and founder of Great Circle Aircraft. In the Fall of 2004, they volunteered to move the group forward and scheduled the first formal event for the spring of 2005. The only issue was the group had no money and nothing to draw an audience.
Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of Galvin Flying Services’ President Peter Anderson and friends from Honeywell, the group suddenly found itself with hanger space and a product update they hoped would draw in professionals from the area. Inviting just 28 local professionals to the ‘free’ event, they were shocked when 56 attendees showed up that day!After the success of the event and finding itself with a captive audience, the group brought on operators Herv Hodgson, Jeff Stillwell, consultant Chuck Kegley, and Starbucks’ dispatch coordinator Kim Goodspeed to help grow the membership body. In addition, aviation lawyer Kit Narodick (retired), who is referred to as the group’s earliest key “influencer”, volunteered to formalize the group’s infrastructure by establishing the PNBAA as a 501(c)6 organization, drafting the by-laws and even developing the group’s letterhead and logo.
To this day, the foundation created by these early volunteers has remained intact and the group has held true to its simple past of focusing on operators first by continually providing unique opportunities for professionals in the region to come together and discuss important matters developing within the industry. In the end, it’s this camaraderie that McIntyre believes is crucial for our industry’s future, “More than any other profession, those (of us) in aviation seem to have a hard time connecting on a consistent basis, and I think it diminishes our opportunity to brainstorm, query, and share with our colleagues. . . It just seems prudent to leverage the collective wisdom of the group for the benefit of all.”
It doesn’t take much to see that the PNBAA’s efforts and collective wisdom have truly influenced business aviation in the Pacific Northwest region. In fact, in the group’s history it has netted several accomplishments including its first mobilization early in its existence against a proposed land/airport swap that would have found Seattle’s business-centered airport, Boeing Field, traded to preserve county space further east of the city.In the end, although the plan never went through, the group achieved its first unified action by working together to explain the potential impact the swap would have had on businesses and operators had it taken place. In addition to that early success, the group has successfully joined together with members of NBAA, AOPA as well as the <id=”E370″>Washington Pilots Association to form the grassroots Washington Aviation Coalition that was successful in its efforts to avert a proposed 2010 Aviation Tax in Washington State; something that current Director Alan Burnett continues to closely monitor in the state’s capital to this day.
Beyond its legislative actions, the PNBAA is also an active member in efforts to support the industry’s future. Efforts that include its Annual Charity Golf Outing that provided four scholarships to Seattle’s Aviation High School and the Washington Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in 2012 alone. In addition, the group also holds several events throughout the year that provide education or information and ample networking opportunity including maintenance professional’s luncheons, a general member appreciation BBQ, and the extremely popular Safety Day. This latter event has delivered to members internationally recognized, aerospace safety experts to learn, share and facilitate safety best practices.
It goes without saying that for the hundreds of members regionally, nationally and internationally, the future of the PNBAA is bright indeed. In fact, McIntyre believes, “the development, professionalism, vitality and value of the PNBAA (have) far exceeded my vision. The board members have grown the organization into an extremely valuable regional Northwest resource where the networking and educational opportunities available through the Safety Day, the Regional Forum, and other PNBAA events are fantastic.”
For Immaculate Flight, we’re proud to support the PNBAA in its efforts to enhance the aviation community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and will continue to provide support at the group’s multiple events throughout the year.
For more information about the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation including how to join, please head over to the PNBAA’s main website!
For more information on the industry memberships Immaculate Flight maintains, please head over to our Industry Memberships page for more information!