Organizers of the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Booth No. N423) are here on the heels of a successful 2013 show in São Paulo, Brazil, and promoting LABACE 2014 as “the biggest and best yet.”
This year’s sold-out event gathered 180 exhibitors, which might have been more if large number of participants from LABACE 2012 had not chosen to expand the size of their exhibits this year. The aircraft static display was crowded nose-to-tail with 68 aircraft, from piston-engine singles to the ultra-large cabin Lineage 1000 business jet from Embraer. Like the interior exhibits, the total number of aircraft was slightly reduced by the greater number of larger business jets.
Organizers at ABAG (Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral or General Aviation Association of Brazil) had expected to exceed last year’s record 16,722 attendees, but two straight days of rain and cold weather reduced the first two days attendance to 2,766 and 4,147, respectively. With sunshine and warmer weather on the last day, 6,910 visitors came through the gates, leaving the total 2,899 short of a record attendance.
ABAG took advantage of the opening general session of this year’s LABACE to focus on the growing need for greater access by business aviation to the nation’s airports and to praise the government for growing recognition of the economic contributions of business aviation.
ABAG chairman Eduardo Marson lauded civil aviation minister Moeira Franco for championing the association in the face of recent moves to usurp the long-standing occupancy of key airport locations by charter operators, maintenance providers and other general aviation users. “He received us in his office with his team and accepted a joint statement signed by ABAG and air-taxi syndicate SNETA,” said Marson.
LABACE is, for the most part, a business-to-business show, and the real economic impact does not reveal itself in the number of aircraft sales reported during the event, but rather in business it generated throughout the following year. According to ABAG, business resulting from the 2013 show will likely exceed $500 million.
Despite limited space at the current venue, ABAG expects LABACE 2014– August 12-14–will again be held at São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport. At its NBAA booth, the association is offering free copies of its 3rd Annual Yearbook of Brazilian General Aviation in both English and Portuguese.