Luke Korta and PB&W attended the 2022 edition of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (BACE). The event was held October 18-20 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.  This was the second BACE since COVID-19 first impacted commercial and business aviation.

An unintended consequence of the COVID-19 downturn in commercial travel has been an uptick in business aircraft charters and an increase in demand for new and used business jets. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported a 10.2% increase in business jet shipments above 2020 levels to 710 aircraft in 2021[1]. This trend has continued in 2022, with 289 business jets shipped through the second quarter, an increase of 9.4% from the same period in 2021. As a result, industry participants were out in force, with over 1,000 exhibitors and aircraft on display at the nearby Orlando Executive Airport.

While the pilot shortage has been at the forefront of the industry for a number of years, a reoccurring theme heard from business leaders at BACE was the need to grow the base of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) in tandem. Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2022-41[2] projects global demand for 610k civil aviation AMTs over the next 20 years, compared to a need for 602k new pilots. Growth in pilots alone will not be enough to support the expected growth in aviation infrastructure.

These trends should support above average growth and market valuations for businesses providing components and sub-system providers to the OEMs, as well as service providers with deep AMT talent.

[1] Quarterly Shipments and Billings – GAMA

[2] Boeing: Pilot, Aviation Technician & Cabin Crew Demand Outlook