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Aircraft Electronics Association convention draws industry leaders, innovators

By Brent Bundy | March 25, 2024

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 32 seconds.

Leaders and innovators in the aviation electronics industry once again gathered together to showcase their latest offerings and services at the 67th annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention.

Held March 18 to 22, 2024, the event returned to the site of its 1958 inaugural location in Dallas, Texas, for the eighth time, this year at the Gaylord Texan Resort in nearby Grapevine.

Over 1,700 attendees from around the globe arrived to view the wares of 134 exhibitors while also being provided with over 100 hours of regulatory and technical training classes covering a plethora of topics related to avionics installation, operation, and maintenance.

Over 1,500 attendees from around the globe arrived to view the wares of 134 exhibitors. Brent Bundy Photo

The show opened with a welcoming by AEA Chairman Bill Hanf and the state of the association address by AEA president and CEO Mike Adamson. AEA director of workforce development Nick Brown discussed the challenges being faced industry-wide in hiring avionics technicians and approaches the organization is assisting in to hopefully alleviate the issue, including setting up work-based learning program partnerships with local schools.

“The success of an industry heavily depends on its workforce. These programs help develop the necessary skills and knowledge enabling technicians to excel in their roles. Ultimately, our goal is to build a strong and capable workforce that thrives in this industry,” Brown proclaimed.

Motivational speaker, author, and podcast host Ryan Hawk delivered the keynote address. Brent Bundy Photo

Each year, AEA presents two awards: one to a standout individual member and another to a manufacturer, distributor, or service provider. For 2024, it was a coup for Mid-Continent Instruments with senior field service engineer Bruce Grammon receiving the Member of the Year accolade while the company itself was honored with the Associate Member of the Year.

Mid-Continent president Todd Winter accepted the presentation on behalf of his 213 employees and more than 6,000 customers worldwide.

Motivational speaker, author, and podcast host Ryan Hawk delivered the keynote address on methods to succeed in life and business. Following his discussion was the always-anticipated new product introductions.

Bruce Grammon receives the Member of the Year accolade. Brent Bundy Photo

At this yearly event, 25 manufacturers and providers gave abbreviated announcements on their latest innovations, advancements, and services that have recently been unveiled. This year saw reveals on testing equipment, communication and entertainment systems, in-flight network solutions, fleet monitoring options, and more.

Throughout the two days that the exhibits were open, showgoers were treated to hands-on time with the vendors and their products. There was clear excitement for the developments on display as well as for the importance of this event to the avionics industry.

Mid-Continent Instruments was named Associate Member of the Year. Brent Bundy Photo

Sporty’s, a 62-year stalwart in the aviation world, has been attending and featuring at this show for most of its history. Chairman and CEO Michael Wolf explained to Vertical that this event is significant to the industry.

“We are involved in all aspects of flight, from training pilots to equipping them with the gear necessary to do their jobs. The work that AEA does to support and advance aviation is very important and we are proud to be organization members and sponsors of such an impactful event,” Wolf stated.

The AEA annual convention will return to Phoenix, Arizona, March 18 to 21, 2025.

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