Flying: NBAA convention a draw for aviation businesses from Valley to Ventura County. By MARK MADLER (San Fernando Valley Business Journal, Monday, October 24, 2011)
Thirty companies from the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and Ventura County exhibited at the recent National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas.
The three-day event, held Oct. 10-12, drew more than 26,000 attendees to view the booth s of 1,100 aviation related businesses and the 101 aircraft parked at two static displays.
Valley exhibitors had mixed opinions about the atmosphere of the convention. Some said it was more upbeat than the past two years, while a few others hadn’t detected a change at all.
A big topic of conversation was the comments President Barack Obama made in June, when he disparaged users of corporate aircraft, and his proposal to lengthen depreciation on corporate planes to collect additional tax dollars.
“It hurts an industry where everyone is trying to succeed,” said Neil Looy, president of Corporate Air Parts Inc. in Van Nuys.
Such companies are the backbone of general aviation. The aircraft manufacturers — Gulfstream, Cessna, Bombardier, Embraer and others — had massive, eye-catching displays and got much of the media attention. But there were many more companies the size of Looy’s, which took up a single table with modest graphics.
Parasol Aviation was a first-time exhibitor at NBAA’s annual convention. Its decision to attend was the result of a suggestion by one of the Sunland company’s customers, said Kevin Lee, director of operations.
Lee’s father, Wallace, started Parasol more than 50 years ago. The company began supplying aluminum hinges for the aviation industry and later added plastic hinges for uses around water, such as galleys or submarines.
Also attending the show for the first time was Semco Instruments Inc., represented by its president Vincent Sandoval.
Semco, based in Valencia, was acquired last year by TransDigm Group Inc. The company makes components used in engines of turbo-prop and turbine aircraft.
Exhibiting at NBAA was a good way for Semco to satisfy a goal set by parent TransDigm for its subsidiaries to seek more exposure, Sandoval said.
“This is an opportunity to get out and see people and to be seen,” Sandoval said.