NBAA’s Innovation Zone is returning to BACE this year for a fifth time, highlighting numerous forward-looking topics from remote-piloted VTOL aircraft to blockchain and the future for young professionals. Tucked within the convention floor at the north end (Booth 694), the Innovation Zone will host nine sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday of the 2018 NBAA-BACE, providing a venue for discussion on cutting-edge technologies and topics of importance to the industry’s future. It also will enable young professionals to meet and network.
The Innovation Zone was first staged during the 2014 NBAA-BACE, initially hosting panels on topics such as the emergence of unmanned aircraft systems and travel in light of concerns surrounding the Ebola virus. Since then the Innovation Zone has held sessions on a range of issues, from supersonic transport and transformation stemming from digital technologies to operational efficiencies gained from new apps. It also has served as the home to YoPro (young professionals) gatherings.
The area is designed to “showcase presentations focusing on forwarding-thinking topics and new technology,” Tyler Austin, NBAA project manager, professional development, has said describing the area.
In 2018, panels will follow suit, such as the session that will explore how remote-pilot VTOL aircraft will coexist with business aircraft operations and how the technologies may affect the industry.
“Presenters will examine current research and development efforts, identify technical challenges, and speculate on a timeline for viability in the marketplace,” Austin said. “Technologies such as electric propulsion and artificial intelligence are converging, and these sessions will provide valuable information to help the industry determine how they will affect operations and the next generations of business aircraft.”
In the young professionals arena, sessions will discuss attracting and developing young talent.
On Tuesday, a handful of sessions are scheduled: Is Safety Really Our Top Priority?, from 10:30-noon; Young Professionals: Changing the Face of Business Aviation, from 1 p.m.-2 p.m.; General Aviation 2025, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.; Quick Ascent: Perspectives from Rising Industry Leaders, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.; and the 5th Annual NBAA YoPro Networking Reception, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
On Wednesday, four more sessions will be held: The Electric Aircraft Revolution, 9:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.; Imagining the Future of Pilotless VTOL Aircraft, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Blockchain for Business Aviation, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.; and I Like Big Data and I Cannot Lie, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.