Independent Falcon Aircraft Operators Association Creates Connections

Credit: Brett Schauf/ShowNews

LAS VEGAS—The Independent Falcon Aircraft Operations Association (IFAOA) had a challenging beginning when it launched in 2020. With the pandemic, the organization had to wait until 2022 to hold the first meeting.

“It was a little difficult starting an organization in the height of COVID that relies on personal exchanges,” says Tom Zimmermann, IFAOA director of marketing.

Today, the group has 225 members, including five who joined during the first two days of NBAA-BACE 2023. About 85 Falcon owners and operators attended the September annual operators’ event in Dallas, also attended by a number of vendors and sponsors.

The organization was formed to create a community among Falcon owners and operators, maintenance professionals, flight crew and others, to interact with one another and connect them to resources to keep their aircraft flying, says founder Sean Lynch, who also serves as managing director of the Engine Assurance Program.

Lynch had witnessed the benefits of groups, such as the Phenom Operators Association and the Citation Jet Pilots Association. And he was long involved with the Love Field Pilots Association.

“The fellowship you get out of getting operators together is just fantastic,” Lynch says. “Lots of good ideas and lots of good solutions. Someone in the room may know of a particular vendor that’s fixing something that no one else knew about. It’s not just posted anywhere. The only way to figure it out is to get everyone together.”

Initially, the focus was on older Falcon jets.

“But what happened is, we’re getting the newer Falcons in there, the 7Xs, the 8Xs,” Lynch says. They help one another. “Where do you get your paint and interior done? Who’s overhauling your wheels? We can’t find this. The ideas come together.”

The association has been working to help some Falcon owners and operators overcome an issue following the obsolescence of avionics units that the avionics manufacturer was no longer supporting.

“We’ve worked with other vendors to either repair those or develop new parts to replace them at a substantial discount,” Lynch says. “We have a large avionics company that is going to build a solution to help the obsolescence of some of these older Falcons.” That wouldn’t have happened without the Falcon gathering.

The focus now is to get members to engage on an ongoing basis in the forums.

“We want our forums to be a thought leadership place where they can go in and talk about certain issues and start engaging together,” Zimmermann says. “My goal is to see our forums become extremely active and become a thought leadership page for discussions.”

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.