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International Association of Exhibitions and Events

IAEE Board takes action on U.S. Air Transportation Crisis

The Board of Directors of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) took several actions to provide members with support as the nation’s air transportation system continues to deteriorate. IAEE board members cited the essential need for the maintenance of a reliable…

The Board of Directors of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) took several actions to provide members with support as the nation’s air transportation system continues to deteriorate. IAEE board members cited the essential need for the maintenance of a reliable, safe, and reasonably priced air transportation system during a meeting held in June and directed the following actions to be taken immediately:

  • Create an Air Transportation Crisis Task Force that is charged with developing best practices for the management of exhibitions and events in the midst of the current crisis. The task force will examine key issues such as the anticipated material reduction of lift to certain cities, the elimination of air service to other communities, the inconveniences imposed upon the traveling business community by a system in disarray, TSA-imposed obstacles, safety issues and other elements that, when combined, have the potential to seriously reduce the number of attendees coming to events.
  • Communicate the findings and recommendations of the task force and provide members with a regular source of information and advice through a new IAEE Air Transportation Newsletter that will be launched within weeks. It will contain tips, news and information that members will find especially valuable.
  • Increase involvement and support of IAEE in the Travel Industry Association (TIA) – especially in its efforts to address business travel and air transportation issues.
  • Launch a meeting of legislative representatives of member organizations in early September in Washington, D.C. with the objective of exploring ways for a new IAEE legislative network of lobbyists to address issues of common interest and concern.

William Swelbar, an airline industry expert with the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), addressed the issue at IAEE’s Senior Executives Roundtable held 24 June 2008 in Schaumburg, Ill. His remarks, while chilling, opened many eyes to the harsh realities that lie ahead for the nation’s air carriers.

Swelbar has been recruited to join Roger Martin-Fagg, a global economist from the United Kingdom, who will speak at the CEO Breakfast during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting and Exhibition 2008 to be held 9-10 December in Miami Beach, Fla. Martin-Fagg will present his forecast of the state of the economy in 2009 and Swelbar will provide updated information and analysis of the U.S. air transportation system. An encore presentation for those not eligible to attend the CEO Breakfast will be held.

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