By Rob Finfrock
CJP had an extremely successful debut before a global audience at this year’s AERO Friedrichshafen, thanks to some amazing support from Textron Aviation, and an eager advocate for the association in CJP European Director Bernhard Fragner.
While initial plans began last year for CJP to exhibit at AERO 2016, held at Germany’s Friedrichshafen Airport from April 20-23, the idea received a major shot in the arm when CJP Chairman David Miller and CJP COO and Executive Administrator Cheryl Hardy met with Tom Perry, Cessna’s VP of Sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
“CJP came away from that meeting with the understanding that Textron Aviation would provide CJP with a very prominent display that was integrated into the company’s show concept, as well as a video presentation about the Association,” explained Fragner, the founder and CEO of GlobeAir AG. “In turn, CJP provided brochures, vouchers, and prize giveaways.”
However, the question then turned to who would attend AERO on behalf of the Association, as nearly all of CJP’s Directors were committed to attend the Cessna customer conference in Wichita, KS starting April 25. As he is based in Austria, Fragner stepped up to represent CJP and introduce European operators to the benefits of joining the organization.
“Our European member group is less than 20 at the moment, but as we saw at AERO, there are many Citation owners and pilots in Germany and the U.K.,” Fragner said. “Obviously we want to grow that number, so that European Citation operators may benefit from a stronger voice within CJP. That, in turn, amplifies our own voices in the European aviation community.”
Fragner noted that attendees showed strong interest in several of CJP’s initiatives, particularly the vast array of web resources available to Members, including the Russ Meyer Citation Library. “The website is a huge database of practical knowledge,” he added. “Pilots appreciate the opportunity to do their own research. CJP not only provides a large online repository of such information in the RMCL, but also features an extensive online forum where owners may discuss questions about, or issues with, their aircraft. The entire community is listening and responding, including Cessna representatives.”
That strong response also led Textron Aviation to commit to assisting CJP at future international events. “This was a great first step, and a great team at Cessna really helped to make this happen,” Fragner concluded. “We look to build on that to establish a continuous presence in the European market, and beyond, which in turn will help CJP grow our Membership base.”