WAEA Board

1987 WAEA Board of Directors. Image: WAEA Newsletter

APEX Insight: APEX EXPO is the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s biggest annual event and has played an important role in improving knowledge and building lasting bonds throughout the aviation industry over the years.

1. The first ever event was an intimate meeting of airlines and studios in Palm Springs, California, in 1979. APEX was formally known as the Airline Entertainment Association (AEA) at the time and the chairman was Claus Jensen of Thai Airways International.

2. The event has been situated around the globe, in cities including Amsterdam, Brisbane, Durban, Montreal and, of course, Singapore just last year. The majority of events have taken place in the US, with twelve in California. Seattle has hosted the most APEX EXPOs to date – in 2011, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 1996.

3. There have been many memorable social events over the years, including an evening at the horse races in Durban, South Africa, a tour of the Museum of Flight in Seattle and a night at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle, now known as the Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP. Last year, the group enjoyed an evening at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.

4. While the association’s primary focus was initially in-flight entertainment, APEX has evolved to include multiple facets of the passenger experience and APEX EXPO reflects this expansion. The event now features a large variety of vendors in content, communications and entertainment hardware, as well as designers and suppliers of a variety of cabin comforts and services. But the studio area, with its red carpet, is always easily recognizable! Aircraft Interiors Expo colocated with APEX in Singapore last year and it the collocation will continue this year in Long Beach, along with IFSA. This means attendees will be able to get a glimpse of the latest technologies and innovations for virtually every passenger touchpoint.

5. Historical events have coincided with APEX EXPO, too. The 9/11 attacks took place during the 2001 EXPO in Brisbane. The members’ actions to help each other during this tragedy proved what aviation is really all about: community.

“APEX EXPO gives people an opportunity to see common problems and solve them.” – Mary Rogozinski, SmartSky Networks

The willingness to help each other and put people first, are some of the aspects that make APEX events throughout the year so special. APEX is a non-profit airline industry association, and the event is designed to serve the needs of all. APEX events and activities help fund a host of educational resources and research, as well as working groups that deal with the technical and regulatory challenges members face every day. “APEX EXPO gives people an opportunity to see common problems and solve them,” says Mary Rogozinski, VP Airlines at SmartSky Networks and president of APEX from 2003-2004, while working at United Airlines.

Register for this year’s APEX EXPO, taking place in Long Beach from September 25 to 28.

Marisa Garcia was once locked in a hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen while fine-tuning Gandalf’s new seats. Seriously. The firemen got her out. Writing is less confining, but she has lovely memories of those hands-on days.