...As Search For Prez Begins Anew

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch and in what must seem like déjà vu all over again, the NBAA's board has formed a new search committee and retained an executive search firm -- the same one they used to hire Longmuir -- to come up with a new president. Toward that end, the NBAA has established a page on its Web site to obtain "the advice and counsel of NBAA Members regarding qualifications or persons the [presidential search] Committee should consider for this position." The Web page was announced in an April 7 press release. At AVweb's deadline for this issue of Business AVflash, the association did not have any details on the activity generated by members through that Web page, but noted that response had been "good."

"It's kind of like the dog that chases cars and finally catches one -- what is he going to do with it?" opined one wag in commenting on replacing Longmuir. Now that the NBAA's board has decided to find another president, who will be the successful candidate? Will the next NBAA president be someone from the "traditional" business aviation mold or will it be someone calculated to break that mold, as some believe of Longmuir's hiring? Just as no one at the NBAA has spoken publicly about Longmuir's departure, no one has talked about potential candidates for the position, either. However, one can look at the candidates widely rumored to be in the running for the position before Longmuir got it and speculate on who might be "the usual suspects."

At various points in the months and weeks leading up to Longmuir's being announced as the NBAA's president on May 30, 2003, several names were rumored to be in the lead for the position. They included Ed Bolen, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Steve Brown, now the FAA's VP operations planning/acting Operational Evolution Plan director; Jim Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association; former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey; and one or two former congressmen. But those names were rumors then and are rumors now -- no one has emerged from the aviation trade association "chatter" as a leading candidate for the position -- it's way too early. That said, you can bet the NBAA is putting this project on a very fast track in order to have the association's new president on board and able to walk and chew gum in advance of this year's convention, scheduled for October 12, 13 and 14, in Las Vegas, Nev.