LABACE 2006 cancelled, but ‘07’s in the works

 - September 12, 2006, 10:26 AM

LABACE 2006 would have been the fourth Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition. Organizers, including NBAA and Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG), had hoped it would be the largest show to date.

The exhibit hall had been moved from the Transamerican Expo center, more than an hour’s drive from the static display at Congonhas Airport, to a Varig hangar space at the airport, neatly consolidating all the elements in a single venue. And organizers were renewing the emphasis on the Latin American aspect of the show.

But the air went out of the balloon in June when NBAA and ABAG announced cancellation of LABACE 2006, citing an accelerated airport construction project that would dramatically reduce space available for the static display.

“NBAA and ABAG are committed to hosting a world-class event that meets the high standards the business aviation community has come to expect of us,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Unfortunately, several factors beyond our control make it impossible for us to host such a show this August [and] we see no alternative other than to defer this year’s event.”

However, Bolen made it clear in an interview with AIN that the show will go on and that there will be a LABACE next year, “sometime in the third quarter.”

While vendors and exhibitors seemed to agree that cancellation of the 2006 show was the only viable solution, many were disappointed.

Planning for LABACE 2007 is well under way, according to Bolen, and it will include “changes that would help turn LABACE into the kind of success we have seen at EBACE.”

But Ernesto Rois-Mendez, president of the Latin American
Aeronautical Association (ALA, Asociacion Latinoamericana de Aeronautica), said, “To expect the same level of success for LABACE that they have with EBACE is not realistic.”