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Roberts Space Industries ®






November 25th 2020

Clean Shot: IAE Issues

IAE Issues

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Hey haulers, Craig Burton here, and I hope you’re ready to celebrate my favorite time of year. That’s right, we have a special Intergalactic Aerospace Expo edition of Clean Shot for you today. I’m coming to you from microTech, where the temperatures outside will turn you to ice but the ships and tech on display at the IAE will make you hot under the collar. I’ve spent the past few days wandering the massive halls of New Babbage’s Tobin Expo Center and I got a lot to share. I’ll tell you what’s been exciting, what’s been disappointing, and even speculate on rumors of a few surprises still to come.

First, let me address the biggest difference about this year’s event… Skinny isn’t with me. For the first time since we started this show, we’re not enjoying the IAE together. Feels strange to walk around without having to stop every few minutes to figure out where he disappeared to. Man’s like a moth to the flame. Give a ship a colorful paint job or promise that some component is more powerful than ever and Skinny’s got to give it a gander. Anyways, just ‘cause Skinny’s not with me doesn’t mean he isn’t also enjoying the IAE. He’s actually attending the main event on Severus so we can compare and contrast the two versions of the expo for an upcoming episode. We’ve already sent several comms back and forth and, let me tell you, he’s got some strong opinions about the new quad-cell thermic release system Lightning Power is putting in their new coolers. He even sent us a vid about it, so be sure to stick around to catch that later in the show.

But I’m getting off track. My daddy would’ve said I was talking about the trees instead of focusing on the forest. Joining us now is someone so busy I’m surprised she has time to eat or sleep, let alone talk to us. Wendy Yue works for the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo and is in charge of the microTech satellite event. Really appreciate you taking the time to come on Clean Shot.

WENDY YUE: My pleasure. Wish Skinny was here though. I’ve been thinking about making some ship upgrades and wanted to get his advice on some gear.

He’ll be tickled pink to hear that. What are you flying these days? And, as I say that, I realize it might be a tough question to answer considering your position.

WENDY YUE: All good, Craig, we’re all aerospace enthusiasts here. The IAE’s all about sharing your love for certain ships or components and hopefully being exposed to new ones that might sway those preferences. Know that’s exactly what happened to me.

How’s that?

WENDY YUE: Grew up a Drake fan. My folks had an ‘04 Cutlass, so I have a lot of fond memories of repairing it and swapping out components with my dad. Still have the Cutlass too, and it was my primary vessel for years, until a Crusader rep at the IAE a few years back gave me a tour of a Star Runner.

That’s one beautiful ship.

WENDY YUE: And it’s only grown on me ever since I got one. Now I pretty much split my flights between the two.

Well, as much as I’d love to discuss what you like about each ship, we really should discuss this year’s event on microTech.

WENDY YUE: Of course. How are you liking it so far?

Definitely bigger and better than the previous IAE satellite events I’ve attended. The Tobin Expo Center is an incredible spot for this. Only complaint so far is that I nearly had a heart attack yesterday.

WENDY YUE: Oh no, what happened?

I was in the Zenith Hall when it was shut down due to the security concern.

WENDY YUE: Oh, you were here for that. Sorry, the incident gave all of us a good scare.

Not your fault, and I must say your staff resolved the situation quickly and professionally. Believe everything was back to normal in under ten minutes.

WENDY YUE: And just so we’re clear for anyone not familiar with the incident, there was no actual threat, only a few, let’s say, overzealous ship crews going after each other with those plastic toy pistols that fire foam darts.

Believed they’re called WowBlast.

WENDY YUE: That’s it.

Like I said, I saw the entire thing go down. Guess one of the attendees in the hall wasn’t familiar with the toy or maybe wasn’t used to being in an Armistice Zone, thought it was a real attack and triggered a security alert. Once security figured out what was going on, I felt bad for the fellow. Even with proper security protocols in place, when a group of folks dressed in their damn armor tactically sweep through a room with their arms raised like they’re ready to fire, I bet it felt pretty scary for someone not used to it.

WENDY YUE: Again, apologies for the false alarm. I will say that a positive outcome is that it did prove our security response times are excellent. We thankfully don’t have too much reason to put them to the test.

A few heart palpitations aside, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the expo so far. This is the first one you’ve been in charge of, right?

WENDY YUE: Yes, but I’ve been with the IAE for nearly three decades. Previously, I helped manage and organize the other satellite expos on Hurston and ArcCorp, and before that, I was a member of the exploratory committee that recommended creating these additional events to accommodate the overwhelming demand to attend the expo in Kiel.

Skinny’s actually at the main event.

WENDY YUE: I’m sure he’s enjoying himself.

Yes and no. Guess he had a helluva time getting into the system because of backed-up jump lanes.

WENDY YUE: That’s unfortunate, and I know that’s something we are hoping to improve in the future. Even though Kiel is ideally situated to host the IAE, having all ship manufacturers and enthusiasts flock to one system creates severe logistical and safety issues. The satellite expo was meant to lessen congestion and make those issues more manageable by diverting some of that traffic elsewhere.

Skinny says this year’s event is busier than ever, and we’ve heard from haulers who claim it’s damn near impossible to make a delivery there right now unless you have a special IAE clearance that gets you to the front of the jump lane. Folks are missing delivery deadlines and losing credits because of these delays.

WENDY YUE: I hate hearing that but I’m not sure how it can be avoided without severely restricting who can attend the event in Kiel – a notion that I’m strongly opposed to and believe defies the spirit of the IAE.

Do you believe the current two-tiered system is fair? One where IAE associated ships are getting priority access to Kiel at the expense of slowing down travel for everyone else?

WENDY YUE: Like many things in life, it’s not ideal but currently it’s the best we can do. The IAE is an important economic engine for Severus and ensuring we can get everything into the system and in place is vitally important to the expo’s success.

Has the IAE ever considered creating more satellite events to spread this demand across even more systems?

WENDY YUE: The option’s on the table, but not every system has the infrastructure or the desire to host the event. To start, planets would need an appropriate venue near substantial hotel accommodations. Even if those requirements are met, most locations would probably still have to spend significant credits to bring the venue up to our standards. The IAE can’t afford to have another debacle like the 2913 event in Ferron. And, to be completely honest, not a lot of planetary governments are ready to foot that bill.

Planets in the Stanton system sure don’t seem to mind.

WENDY YUE: True, but they’re also an anomaly. These planets are companies first and governing bodies second. The expense is worth it to them because it’s, in essence, a supremely unique marketing opportunity. The elected representatives of, say, Cassel know that their path to recouping costs will be quite different than that of microTech.

So where’s next year’s satellite event gonna be?

WENDY YUE: That’s still being kept under wraps, but nice try.

Hey, I had to ask. Always helps to book a hotel as early as possible. Primo locations fill up fast.

WENDY YUE: Well, glad you hear you’ll be coming back even after the security scare.

Wouldn’t miss it for anything. Love this event. And I want to talk to you about what we can expect during the last few days, but first, we need to take a quick commercial break. I’ll be back with a vid from Skinny and more from Wendy Yue of the IAE right after this.

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