LABACE Opens Amid Cautious Optimism for Bizav in Brazil

 - August 12, 2014, 3:06 PM
Facing economic uncertainty and operational restrictions, business aviation in Brazil is still strong, as evidenced by participation in LABACE 2014. Exhibit space at this year’s show is up by 10 percent, and organizers expect a strong complement of upper-management visitors. Photo: David McIntosh

The LABACE show’s 11th edition opened today at São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport, with the mood of Brazilian business and general aviation cautiously optimistic. “Once more in 2013 the market grew by 5 to 6 percent, as it has for the last decade,” said Eduardo Marson, president of Brazilian business aviation industry group and LABACE organizer ABAG.

There are signs, however, that the current year has been a difficult one for general aviation, as a reflection of economic upheaval across Latin America and, specifically, the restrictions placed on operators during the soccer World Cup hosted by Brazil in June and July. Many of those issues facing the industry will be topics of discussion this week at LABACE as manufacturers, operators, support companies and customers come together.

Ricardo Nogueira, director general of ABAG, told reporters that a continued lack of investment in airports is a key issue, and this appears not to be getting constructive attention in Brazil’s current election campaign. “We’ve seen little effort to handle more aircraft, only to handle more passengers,” he said. “There’s been a focus on terminals, and not on airports. There has been nothing relevant to improve capacity for air traffic, only localized, uncoordinated and temporary actions.”