“It’s good to be able to report some silver linings,” said EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba, welcoming the press on Monday to EBACE 2014. He noted recent major economic indicators, which of late have tracked towards the positive.
“Looking at the last six months or so, you’re looking at a timid growth,” he told the audience, “but we’re looking at growth and the forecast this year in terms of movement in Europe is anything between one and one-point-five percent.” While not Earth-shaking, Gamba noted that after approximately 20 months of decreases even the mild uptick is encouraging. That optimism is reflected in the number of exhibitors here at the show, which at 499 represent an increase of 8 percent over last year, with a 4-percent increase in exhibition space.
That increase comes despite a change in the arrangements, as long-time show attendees will notice here at PalExpo. The unavailability of Hall Seven has caused the show organizers to alter the floorplan of exhibitors in Halls 4, 5 and 6, putting all the booths in one contiguous space. “Business aviation is a lot about flexibility,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the NBAA. “Its about adapting to change, its about meeting new and unexpected challenges, and in some ways EBACE 2014 reflects that spirit of adaptability and meeting challenges that we see in our aircraft.” That change he said “not only meets the challenge of adaptation, but we think potentially enhances the overall EBACE experience.”