First ABACE ready to debut this month

 - October 4, 2006, 9:28 AM

The first Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) will be staged in Shanghai, China, from August 9 to 11. As of late June, the event had attracted the support of 40 exhibitors, including all the leading business aircraft manufacturers.

ABACE 2005 is organized by NBAA, which last year launched the concept for a dedicated Asian bizav show with its successful Hong Kong forum. The two-day Hong Kong event drew almost 300 delegates from 20 different countries and was supported by about a dozen exhibitors.

The main indoor exhibits and conference will be staged in the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center, which is about a 25-minute drive from the Chinese city’s Pudong International Airport. The static display will be located at Shanghai’s downtown Hongqiao Airport.

Some 13 aircraft are expected to be on display, including (subject to change): Bombardier’s Global 5000, Challenger 604 and Learjet 60; Cessna’s Sovereign and XLS; Dassault’s Falcon 2000 or 900; Gulfstream’s G550 and G200; and Raytheon’s Hawker 800XP, 400XP, Premier I and Beechcraft King Airs.

The ABACE conference schedule is based around daily themes of safety, infrastructure and the value and benefits of business aviation. The exhibit hall and static display will open from noon to 6 p.m. On the first day this will be extended to 8 p.m. for a networking reception in the exhibit hall.

Conference proceedings on Tuesday, August 9, will begin with a session on business aviation safety culture, moderated by International Business Aviation Council director general Don Spruston. Invited speakers include the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Bangkok, Thailand-based regional director, Lalit Shah; Ma Tao, deputy director of general flight standards with the Civil Aviation Administration of China; and NBAA vice chair Jeff Lee, who is also director of IBM’s flight department.

This forum will be supplemented by an afternoon informational session on safety management systems, moderated by Canadian Business Aviation Association vice president Bill Boucher and IBAC director Peter Ingleton.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen will moderate the ABACE opening general session. Addressing the topic “This is Business Aviation” will be Jason Liao, president of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA).

Extending Business Aviation in Asia

Wednesday’s main event is a panel discussion on navigation and airport infrastructure, moderated by Liao and NBAA senior vice president Steve Brown. Informational sessions on airspace/air traffic infrastructure and airport handling and support will follow.

The Thursday conference program is devoted mainly to a discussion of what Asia’s economies stand to gain by supporting improved access for business aircraft. This will be supplemented by a presentation on initiatives taken to boost business aviation growth in Japan, a country that until recently has been regarded as a difficult environment for corporate and executive charter aircraft. The session will also include presentations by Nagoya Airport and by Japan Business Aviation Association vice chairman Masaki Nakitani.

According to Bolen, the primary purpose of ABACE is to promote the huge potential that business aviation has in Asia’s dynamic economies, in China in particular. “Business aviation is still fairly unfamiliar there, and the show will be an educational event to articulate the value proposition of business aviation,” he told AIN. NBAA is aiming to attract prospective new business aircraft users to the Shanghai show, as well as aviation officials it would like to convince of the need to ease operational restrictions.

More information about ABACE 2005 is available at