Wichita Aero Club stages 2012 On-Air Summit
Pro Pilot Contributing Editor Mike Potts was among 6 aviation journalists participating in a panel discussion on the current and future state of business and general aviation at the Wichita Aero Club's annual On-Air Summit on Dec 12.
The Wichita Aero Club is a professional organization which serves primarily Greater Wichita residents involved in aviation.
Aircraft manufacturers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft are headquartered in Wichita, while the Learjet segment of Bombardier and The Boeing Company also have manufacturing facilities there, although Boeing has announced it is leaving.
Spirit AeroSystems, a major supplier to Boeing and Airbus is also headquartered there, along with dozens of smaller businesses that support Wichita's aircraft manufacturing industry.
Joining Potts on the panel were Business & Commercial Aviation Editor-in-Chief Bill Garvey, Flying Editor Robert Goyer, AOPA Publications Senior VP Tom Haines, EAA Publications Columnist & Contributor Mac McClellan and Flightglobal Americas Managing Editor Steve Trimble. Molly McMillin, aviation reporter for The Wichita Eagle, served as moderator to the event, held in the Doubletree by Hilton Wichita Airport Hotel at ICT.
Among the topics discussed were product development and innovation, the impact of foreign manufacturers on the domestic aviation industry, the potential for a pending shortage of pilots, the future and potential impact of unmanned vehicles operating in US airspace, fuel cost, the impact of labor unions on the industry, the potential for an economic recovery in the lighter end of the business jet manufacturing market which has been in recession since 2008, and whether Wichita, known as the "Air Capital of the World," could become the next Detroit. —Mike Potts