The 30th National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference (SDC2019) came to an end last week (February 1), with organizers stating the event’s upbeat vibe and forward-looking view were as evident as ever.
Taking place from January 29 in San Antonio, Texas, SDC2019 featured the highest attendance on record with nearly 3,000 participants from all 50 US states, more than 40 countries, and nearly 600 exhibit booths.
Karen McCullough, first day speaker, said: “Think of each other as a resource and share ideas, listen to people who have a different point of view than you. We have to be open to continuous learning and new opportunities.
As always, conference sessions focused on ‘hot topics’ from the impact of new technologies on business aviation, to navigating the international operation and regulatory landscape and more. Keynote speakers engaged attendees on issues surrounding the intergenerational workplace, embracing change and how to provide exceptional customer service.
NBAA president and chief executive Ed Bolen was encouraging attendees to promote the value of business aviation for the next generation of professionals. He said: “This is where you can be part of something meaningful, something that helps our companies, our communities and our country.”
Day Two speaker, Louie Gravance, discussed world-class customer service, based largely on his many years with The Walt Disney Company. He said great service is made up of ‘moments minuscule and intimate’.
Tyler Austin, NBAA senior manager, certification and staff liaison to the Schedulers and Dispatchers committee, said: “The significant growth of the show in past 30 years is a testament to this show’s importance to the industry, and the innovation and enthusiasm surrounding it position SDC for continued future success.”
SDC2019 also recognised current and future industry leaders, including recognition of the award and scholarship recipients at the opening session. Kellie Rittenhouse, long-time business aviation volunteer, received NBAA’s Schedulers and Dispatchers outstanding achievement and leadership award. Ms Rittenhouse is a certified aviation manager and holds an FAA dispatcher certification.
Although the conference was busy, attendees still took time to celebrate the event’s success since its launch 30 years ago. SDC began in 1989 in Montvale, NJ, with about 70 attendees and a dozen or so exhibitors.