Dozens gathered April 5 to listen to the top executives from several aviation associations participate in a roundtable discussion about the issues facing the industry. Paula Derks, president of the Aircraft Electronics Association moderated the panel as part of the AEA fifty-fifth annual International Convention and Trade Show.
AOPA President Craig Fuller was among the group that included representatives from the National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation Association, and the Helicopter Association International.
Derks went down the line posing questions for each executive to address. NBAA President Ed Bolen discussed the emerging business jet market in China. He noted that currently there are only about 200 business jets operating in the country, but that he expected that number to rise in the coming years. NATA President and CEO Jim Coyne—a former member of Congress—weighed in on the current political climate as it relates to general aviation.
Each of the panelists took several minutes to address the questions posed to them. Fuller was asked about an Air Safety Institute study of accident data in aircraft with glass cockpits versus ones with analog instruments. Fuller noted that only a small fraction of flights resulted in accidents, and the study dealt only with data from accidents and should not be considered an assessment of glass cockpit safety.