Jetrader - Spring 2017 - 33
Bookmark gift members
received while attending
the ISTAT Reception at the
1993 Paris Air Show.
The ISTAT Reception at the 1993 Paris Air Show.
under the leadership of our first president
George "Bud" Dutton, an industry icon aircraft trader from Eastern Airlines. Many
of us served on his original board. While
recollections of early meetings are dulled
through the passage of time, we believe
our first meeting was held at what is now
the Trump National Doral hotel in Miami.
The location selection process was easy
as our president worked for Eastern Airlines
based in Miami. It was the first conference
held in the dark of winter and most of the
attendees just wanted to play golf. Unlike
conferences today, there were probably only
about 30 attendees. Like today, however,
they used the occasion to network with
colleagues in the industry. As you might
imagine, presentations of that era lacked
the sophistication we take for granted
today. If you remember what an overhead
projector was, you get the idea.
Efforts were undertaken in the beginning
to develop the ISTAT Certified Appraiser
program. Jim Mathews, supported by Bill Bath
and Jack Feir, worked diligently to develop
the program that set metrics and terminology to be used by ISTAT certified appraisers
to determine value. To earn the right to be
an ISTAT Certified Appraiser, an applicant
would need to successfully complete rigorous
training and testing. Course work and test
programs were created.
On the secondary market front, we used
ISTAT as a forum to communicate openly and
in a common language with others in the
business of buying and selling used aircraft.
Those of us from the leasing companies were
becoming tired of being called "junk men." A
combination of developed structure for valuations and the bonding of secondary market
participants with a sense of shared mission
helped elevate the perception of used aircraft
traders to the professional level it is today.
Reception card from the ISTAT Reception
at the 1993 Paris Air Show.
ISTAT conferences, while initially U.S.centric due to its origins, began to grow.
They were organized by members and had
three major philosophic objectives: keep
prices down so attendees could justify the
expense; include presentations by ISTAT
members'; and produce a collegial environment for networking and relationship
Event attendance grew slowly in those
early days. The membership plateaued at
about 350 and was fairly constant through
the economic downturn of 1990 and the
first Gulf war.
Subsequently, the conferences began to
slowly grow to include increasing participation by other disciplines in the commercial
aviation field. A decision by the board to
permit airlines to join for free helped to
bring OEMs into the conferences and provide
sponsorships. The philosophy to provide a
minimal-cost conference where delegates
could network with others in the industry
in a collegial and fun environment triggered
the explosive growth that we are witnessing today.
ISTAT has become "the conference" for
anyone in the commercial aviation space.
More than a few lasting friendships began at
ISTAT conferences. Conferences were added
in Europe as ISTAT endeavored to enhance
its international presence. Eventually, conferences were also added in Asia as the aircraft leasing business increased significantly
there and in the Pacific Rim. A Latin America
Forum was recently created to introduce
ISTAT to another significantly growing area
of the industry.
In addition to becoming "the" organization in the industry, ISTAT began to give
back to the industry. The ISTAT Foundation
is becoming a more impactful force in providing charitable assistance in the way of
academic scholarships, assistance to charitable organizations benefiting aerospace
and humanitarian relief. A future article in
Jetrader will provide a full account of the
Jetrader * Spring 2017 33