Gulfstream Not Participating In This Year’s NBAA-BACE Event

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Gulfstream Aerospace, builders of a full line of business jets currently topped by the intercontinental G650/G650ER, is taking a pass on exhibiting at this year’s National Business Aviation Association NBAA-BACE (Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition.) The annual event, which launches later this month in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the world’s busiest business-aviation trade show, and Gulfstream has long been among the largest exhibitors on both the convention floor and airport static displays.

Dan Hubbard, NBAA senior VP of communications, told AVweb, “Gulfstream has advised NBAA that it has made the decision to not participate in NBAA-BACE this year. All exhibitors at NBAA’s convention build their business plans—including as they relate to event participation—around their own set of business priorities, and we respect the decision Gulfstream has made, based on its own priorities.”

A spokesperson for the Savannah, Georgia-based airframer told AVweb, “Gulfstream consistently reviews and evaluates our marketing investments to ensure we are delivering on our mission—to create and deliver the world’s finest aviation experience for our customers. Over the past few years, Gulfstream has successfully created private events and experiences that have exceeded our customers’ expectations while delivering on our business objectives. We will continue to evaluate opportunities and invest in those that best support this mission.”

Gulfstream and its corporate ancestors have been designing and building turbine-powered business aircraft since 1958, starting with the twin-turboprop Gulfstream I. Currently awaiting FAA certification, the newest flagship Gulfstream G700 (7,750-NM range) and G800 (8,000 NM) are powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl turbofans, which achieved certification early last month. Originally scheduled for certification and entry into service late last year, the G700 and G800 models are now close to the end of their certification process. Following certification of the Rolls-Royce Pearl engine in the first week of September, Gulfstream President Mark Burns said that certification efforts “continue to advance.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. “Gulfstream consistently reviews and evaluates our marketing investments to ensure we are delivering on our mission—to create and deliver the world’s finest aviation experience for our customers. Over the past few years, Gulfstream has successfully created private events and experiences that have exceeded our customers’ expectations while delivering on our business objectives. We will continue to evaluate opportunities and invest in those that best support this mission.”
    = we can’t afford it this year.

    • Unlikely the case. Seems more likely they’re busy certifying, building, and delivering a bunch of airplanes and don’t get much benefit from the distraction of a trade show that likely doesn’t bring in any new customers.

  2. Having attended NBAA almost yearly since the early 90’s until retirement two years ago, I was always curious as to how many actual new customers the big bizjet manufacturers enlisted versus wining and dining their existing clientele and letting bug smashers like me salivate over the latest offerings at the static display. It seemed like a very heavy investment in resources for minimal benefit–lots of suits standing around waiting for happy hour to arrive…

  3. It is not always a matter of money for not attending an event, but rather of the cost to the company. I have for over a decade helped to either set up or run events like this, and have also worked with companies to attend, set up, run, and takedown booths and displays. The planning and logistics starts months in advance, and can be onerous. A large company may be able to finance a full time 2 or 3 person PR department, but it takes 6 or 7 people to effectively staff a display, often many more for large displays. For smaller companies you effectively shut down your whole office for a week or more to handle and staff the event. Other than the PR people, folks at an event like this, like or want to talk to an engineer, a test pilot, a vice-President, depending on their question. You may only see two or three representatives at a time, but the others are at lunch, taking care of logistics, or doing interviews with the numerous industry multi-media outlets. When you are past your self set deadline of certifying an aircraft, possibly with down payments already received, do you pull key personnel and their focus away from a project when there are deadlines to meet? What is the cost benefit? If you are really interested in a $75 million dollar jet, the company will send a Jet with PR person and a pilot to you, without affecting any other operations. I’m sure they’ll be back next year.

  4. Mark B. is spot on with his response posted above. A good friend of mine was a long time NARCO Avionics Sales Engineer for decades, many years ago and he would always inform me that the smaller companies like NARCO was- had to basically shut down the entire office for a week or more to handle and staff the event and it became burdensome, in areas of time and effort and money expended to staff.

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