Hurricane Sandy hits trade shows, cancels flights, strands travelers along the entire East Coast

By John Keller
Posted by John Keller

So much for travel plans that fall in the path of a hurricane.

Flights cancelled, trade shows abandoned, all due to Hurricane Sandy , a 1,000-mile-wide tropical cyclone that's smashing into the U.S. East Coast causing rain, flooding, blizzards, high winds, and power outages from Key West to Quebec.

Two big aerospace and defense shows were scheduled for this week in Orlando -- AFCEA MILCOM , which has become THE military embedded computing conference, and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention. MILCOM's cancelled, while NBAA appears to be on.

I made plans to attend both shows, but here I remain in New Hampshire, with no flights available today and probably tomorrow, as well. We'll be lucky if commercial air travel is back to normal by the end of the week.

AFCEA MILCOM officials made the decision Sunday to cancel the show after determining that at least 40 percent of exhibitors and attendees most likely would not be able to make it to Orlando. Count all of us here in the Northeast as part of that 40 percent.

Only one of our staff, Courtney Howard, will be able to make the NBAA show, and it's only because she's traveling from the West Coast where flights remain unaffected by the gathering hurricane.

I was optimistic about making it out before the effects of the hurricane hit. Still, as of this morning, flights were cancelled. It's not just our staff who can't get flights out. Evidently thousands of European travelers are stuck on the East Coast until the big weather event passes.

I can't imagine the amount of money being lost, just in the cancellation of MILCOM. Companies have shipped booths and equipment, made hotel reservations, bought plane tickets, and made all kinds of other arrangements, all for nothing.

My condolences go out to all the companies and attendees who will have to wait until next year for MILCOM 2013. We await attendance results of the NBAA show to see how Hurricane Sandy has hit that conference.

As for me, I'm still here in New Hampshire, posting content until the power goes out. Good luck to everyone in the path of the hurricane.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7

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