Membership of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) has risen from 45 to 58 over the past year, with the most recent company to sign up joining just before yesterday’s annual general meeting held on the eve of the ABACE show in Shanghai. The new member is AIN Publications, publisher of ABACE Convention News.
AsBAA was reformed 12 months ago, in March 2011 and, according to chairman Jean-Noel Robert, quickly became absorbed in dealing with the fallout from Japan’s Fukushima earthquake and the resulting nuclear disaster. Since then, the Hong Kong-based group has resumed its core activities in attempting to improve its visibility in the industry and with the region’s authorities.
Among the hurdles the association presently faces, according to Robert, is determining how many business aircraft are actually operating in the region and how many people are employed by the industry. Unlike in the West, actual ownership is sometimes difficult to determine, he said. Accumulating these statistics is crucial to the organization’s efforts to present the value of business aviation to authorities.
In an effort to solve this, AsBAA plans to launch a survey seeking to compile this data from operators. The organization admits it faces some reluctance among members to provide potentially confidential information, but Robert asked that they trust the association to do what’s right for the industry.
As an example, AsBAA board member David Dixon cited work the organization did at Hong Kong International Airport, which determined that the airport was home to approximately 70 business aircraft. Armed with this information, AsBAA was able to present the fact that only Cathay Pacific Airlines is a larger operator at the airport, and the group was subsequently accepted as a consultant in the airport’s plans to develop a third runway.
One key area of focus for the group is the proliferation of aviation shows in the region, with members torn in deciding which events to attend. In an effort to reduce the demands–in time and money–on its members AsBAA is currently developing criteria to use in determining which shows it will support.
A fuller report on AsBAA’s work will appear in the Wednesday edition of ABACE Convention News.