CLEVELAND — It’s almost time for the Regional Airline Association’s annual convention to begin. This year, hundreds of airline employees, executives, regional aircraft manufacturers, and suppliers are invading Cleveland to discuss and showcase the latest trends and products as well as to talk about the future of the regional airline industry.

Now, We Have a Feeling that We Know What you are Asking; What is the Regional Airline Association?

Good question.

The Regional Airline Association (RAA) was founded in 1975, and it is a North America business association that represents regional airlines and their employees, regional airline aircraft manufacturers, and all of the suppliers. The association represents, lobbies, and supports its members before many government organizations such as the FAA, U.S. Congress, and the Department of Transportation.

RAA has more than two dozen airline members and about 150 other members. It’s a large undertaking to represent these companies, especially when more than 13,000 regional flights a day.

On its website, RAA’s mission states:

With safety as its highest priority, RAA represents North American regional airlines, and the manufacturers of products and services supporting the regional airline industry, before the Congress, DOT, FAA and other federal agencies. With more than 13,000 regional airline flights every day, regional airlines operate more than 50 per cent of the nation’s commercial schedule. Some 160 million passengers annually — more than one of every five domestic airline passengers — travel on regionals, and the more than 2,700 regional aircraft comprise about nearly 40 percent of the US commercial passenger fleet. Most notably, regional airlines serve 631 communities across the country and in 486 of those communities — 77 percent of the US – – regional airlines provide the only scheduled service.

Over the next few days, we’ll receive updates from several aircraft manufacturers and several regional airlines. Additionally, we’ll ho more in-depth with RAA.

Buckle your seat belts; it’s time to take off.