The History of NAFA
NAFA was born in the late 60s when Tom Harvell, Bob Beech, Carol Davis, Jim Peters, Victor Hermey, Bob Keeling, William Staub, and other lenders who financed aircraft in large volumes came together with an idea: improve and facilitate the lending process to support aircraft buyers.
Over the next few years, the group began meeting in a more formal way as the Aircraft Finance Association, or AFA for short. In its early years, the AFA worked to develop a streamlined FAA escrow process to immediately secure lienholder interest in aircraft—a process that, at the time, was an uphill battle requiring much litigation. They also worked to improve the process of reporting aircraft interests, with an end goal of better grasping how exactly to value an aircraft, specifically when it comes to financing a used model.
What started as a small, scrappy group of lenders figuring out how to corral the industry grew, by the 1980s, into a network of around 70 member companies. It was at this point that AFA rebranded to the National Aircraft Finance Association, or NAFA.
Fast forward to today, and the organization has grown to nearly 200 member companies, including five of the largest banks in the United States: JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, and US Bank. In addition to niche financiers, NAFA is home to certified appraisers, aviation attorneys, title and escrow firms, aviation tax specialists, aircraft insurance firms, aircraft manufacturers, brokers, and dealers—essentially anyone involved with the touchpoint of buying and/or financing an aircraft. This diverse representation has allowed NAFA, over the past 50 years, to successfully facilitate the exchange of ideas and capital that finance the world’s business and general aviation aircraft.
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