Aero-News TV
“Heads Up Technologies has always found the AEA Trade Show to be a great value, and a cost effective means of demonstrating our newest products and services. We primarily work with other partners to distribute our products, so the AEA trade shows have always provided us an excellent opportunity to meet and visit with our customers first hand.”

David Groos, Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Heads-Up Technologies

Aspen Avionics

UPS Freight

AEA Press Headquarters
AEA News Release

For more information, contact Trisha Drape,
director of communications for the AEA, at 816-347-8400 or
For immediate release:
April 3, 2012

55th Annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show Officially Opens in Washington, D.C.
With Several New Avionics Products set to Debut, the Four-Day Event is the Largest Wholesale Avionics Show in the General Aviation Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2012 -- Nearly 1,500 avionics manufacturers, dealers, installers and other general aviation professionals have converged at the 55th annual Aircraft Electronics Association International Convention & Trade Show, which opened today at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The four-day event takes place April 3-6, and it is the largest gathering of avionics manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations in the world.

The AEA convention is the preeminent venue dedicated solely to the general aviation avionics industry. Not open to the public, this event's primary focus is providing avionics professionals with educational and marketing opportunities between equipment manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations. The general aviation avionics community knows the AEA International Convention & Trade Show is a must-attend gathering for growing their businesses, training their technicians and meeting with their dealer network.

The historic city of Washington, D.C., plays host to this year's event. Avionics professionals will experience the following highlights during the week, just to name a few:

  • The event is the platform of choice for the introduction of new avionics products coming to market in 2012.
  • More than 75 hours of regulatory, technical and business management training and professional development.
  • The AEA's Fast Traks and technical training workshops are approved for credit toward the AEA's Avionics Training Excellence Award, as well as accepted for FAA IA renewal and the AMT Awards Program.
  • More than 110 exhibitors in the AEA Exhibit Hall. Save time and money by networking with hundreds of qualified decision makers face-to-face. In this new world of social media, this is your chance to see, touch and talk product in person.
  • Lean about the latest regulatory issues impacting the avionics industry. Representatives from the civil aviation authorities, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada Civil Aviation, the European Aviation Safety Agency and others, convene to share vital regulatory information with all attendees.
  • Manufacturers offer dealers deep discounts as a part of the AEA's Show Specials. These specials are only available to attendees in Washington, D.C.
  • More than $100,000 in scholarships awarded to avionics and aviation maintenance students.
  • Nearly $100,000 of silent auction items to bid on, including avionics equipment, home electronics, wines, jewelry, golf items, sports collectibles, aviation art, gift baskets and much more, benefiting the AEA Educational Foundation.
  • Recognition of Paul Ryan, founder of Ryan International, as the recipient of the 2012 AEA Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Unique social events and networking opportunities with industry colleagues, including the First-Nighter Party with a Crab and Beer Fest, the AEA annual Awards Luncheon and the Last Call Reception.

In addition, the AEA Educational Foundation, in partnership with the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT), will offer registered attendees free Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification and endorsement exams, April 4-6. Attendees may test their knowledge in achieving the NCATT's highly regarded avionics technician certification. This $100 value is only available through the AEA at the convention.

One of the most popular sessions each year is the AEA Official Opening, sponsored by Universal Avionics Systems Corp., and the AEA New Product Introductions. This must-see event takes place on Wednesday, April 4, and it continues to draw the attention of the entire general aviation community. This year is no different, as the Aero-News Network will be live-streaming the AEA Official Opening and New Product Introductions around the world on the Internet for the third straight year. This year's production will be produced in high-definition quality for the first time.

In addition, the following aviation trade associations will provide website links to watch the event live: Aircraft Electronics Association; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; and Experimental Aircraft Association. Each NPI presentation will be syndicated by ANN to dozens of popular E-media and aviation sites, such as YouTube, and ANN will produce live programming throughout the week and conduct high-tech interviews from the AEA Exhibit Hall floor for even greater exposure.

Retired Air Force Col. Mark W. Tillman, chosen as the nation's 12th presidential pilot, will speak during the AEA Official Opening. Tillman retired from the U.S. Air Force in February 2009, following a distinguished 30-year career that culminated with his command of the U.S. Presidential Airlift Group from 2001 to 2009.

The 2012 AEA Member of the Year and Associate Member of the Year will be announced during the AEA Annual Awards luncheon on Thursday, April 5, presented by Pacific Southwest Instruments. Last year's winners were Gunter Hemmel of Avionik Straubing, Atting, Germany, who was named the 2011 AEA Member of the Year, and Garmin, named the 2011 AEA Associate Member of the Year. 

The nominees for the 2012 AEA Member of the Year are: 

  • Robin Howard, Howard Aviation Inc., LaVerne, Calif.
  • Jim Joubert, Pacific Southwest Instruments, Corona, Calif.
  • David Loso, Jet Aviation St. Louis, Cahokia, Ill.
  • Anthony Polemarkis, Avionics Place, Rockford, Ill.
  • Hardy Truelsen, Scandinavian Avionics, Denmark.

The nominees for the 2012 Associate Member of the Year are: 

  • Avidyne Corp., Lincoln, Mass.
  • Cobham/S-TEC, Mineral Wells, Texas.
  • Flight Display Systems, Alpharetta, Ga.
  • Mid-Continent Instruments, Wichita, Kan.
  • Ultra Electronics, Victor, N.Y.

The Capitol Steps, sponsored by Rockwell Collins, will provide entertainment during the AEA Annual Awards Luncheon.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, along with directions to download the AEA Convention app, visit

To access high-resolution images and logos of the 2012 AEA International Convention & Trade Show, visit

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The Aircraft Electronics Association represents more than 1,300 repair stations from throughout the world specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. AEA membership also includes manufacturers of avionics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.

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