“The 2018 EAA AirVenture Conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is over, but the Islands of The Bahamas made quite an impression there and seized additional business opportunities for its tourism and aviation sectors,” so said Captain Greg Rolle, Sr. Director of Vertical Markets and Aviation at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA).

Captain Rolle, who is the only non-North American to have ever served as Chairman of the influential International Federal Partnership (IFP) organization, said, “The Bahamas is the only country, outside of the USA and Canada, to be a part of the prestigious IFP, which works closely with Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) representatives on this event.  The Bahamas government plays a pivotal and influential role in IFP and has a respected voice that moves our tourism and aviation industry forward to benefit our country”.

Deputy Director General at BMOTA, Mr. Ellison Thompson who attended the conference for the first time, said that he was totally impressed by the magnitude of the conference, which is the largest aviation conference in the world, and at the high level of influence and respect The Bahamas has with the organizers of this event. 

“This conference has always been rewarding for us.  As an IFP member, participation in the conference makes us privy to vast opportunities  - ranging from individual and group travel to The Bahamas and the addition of new airline programs and partnerships, to upcoming trends and new FAA policies and regulations facing the aviation sector.  Being privy to such information in advance helps us to better plan, safeguard and implement the necessary and appropriate measures to capitalize on these opportunities and/or mitigate possible fallouts arising from them.  Additionally, our presence at the conference allows us to further build on new and existing relationships with the media, general aviation pilots and our USA federal government agencies inclusive of its customs, immigration, agriculture and border control departments,” he said.

“Pilots’ confidence and interest in our islands have grown substantially over the past year; based on the high number of requests for Bahamas information and capacity filled seminars which our flying ambassadors conducted daily for pilots.  Almost 600 pilots attended our ‘Flying To The Bahamas’ seminars, all of which reached standing room levels, and were attended by pilots interested in either flying to The Bahamas individually or in groups.  This will especially benefit our Family Islands,” said Mr. Thompson.

Representatives from The Bahamas Government agencies, including The Bahamas Meteorology Department, Royal Bahamas Police Force, Bahamas Customs and Bahamas Immigration are scheduled to attend a one-week training program, in September 2018, which, is being offered by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agreement reached at this year’s conference. 

At the 2016 Oshkosh Conference, The Bahamas was awarded the first “Weather Ready Nation Ambassador” status from NOAA for its commitment to the education, preparedness and protection of its citizenry, visitors and communities during extreme weather conditions.

This year’s EAA AirVenture Conference saw the largest attendees on record, since its inception, 66 years ago. According to EAA Chairman, Jack Pelton, more than 600,000 persons from around the world, and 867 exhibitors attended this year’s aviation conference. Additionally some 10,000 aircrafts arrived at the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh for the event and 19,588 aircraft operations occurred during the 11-day aviation conference, held July 20-31, 2018.  Some 2,979 show planes, including 1,160 homebuilts,1,094 vintage airplanes with the remainders ranging from warbirds, ultralights, light sport, seaplanes, rotorcraft, aerobatic aircrafts and hot air balloons, participated in the air show component of the conference.

Contact: D. Earnestine Moxyz | 954-236-9292 | emoxyz@bahamas.com

1.  Photo courtesy of Preston Keres, United States Department of Agriculture – International Federal Pavilion partners - US, Canada and The Bahamas Government officials at the 2018 EAA AirVenture Conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

2.  Photos:  NOAA National Weather Service Director discusses with Mr. Thompson, Deputy Director General (BMOTA) on NOAA’s tools and resources to help The Bahamas.

3.  “Flying to The Bahamas” seminars were conducted daily to pilots interested in flying to The Bahamas, individually or in groups. All seminars were capacity filled, with standing room only, and totaled almost 600 persons, over the one-week period.

4. Representatives at The Islands of The Bahamas booth were busy, answering questions and enquiries from pilots, interested in visiting The Bahamas.

5.  Thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts visited the 2018 EAA AirVenture Conference in Wisconsin, Oshkosh.