ABAG assumes lead in LABACE show

 - January 19, 2007, 10:46 AM

Citing a desire by the Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG) to assume a more extensive role in organizing the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE), NBAA has announced, “After three years, ABAG is moving into the lead and will coordinate the event from São Paulo.

“ABAG approached us some time ago about taking the lead,” said NBAA president Ed Bolen. “They had some new ideas. They asked whether we could support them in that effort and we were prepared to continue as joint partners.”

The shift will make ABAG the primary party responsible for the production of LABACE 2007, including organization of the exhibit floor, static display of aircraft, and other events. NBAA will continue to support LABACE through promotions and participation by NBAA president Ed Bolen in the event program.

Since it was launched in 2003, LABACE has struggled to find support from the broader Latin American aviation community. Its glitter was further dimmed last year when the show was cancelled “because of a combination of factors,” most notably construction at Congonhas Airport.

When the construction schedule was accelerated, it became obvious that it would create major problems with the static display area. The site had been selected because it would have allowed the aircraft static display to be set up immediately adjacent to the exhibit hall.

According to ABAG, this year’s show is scheduled for August 9 to 11 in São Paulo. While the specific site is still to be determined, ABAG chairman Rui Thomas de Aquino emphasized that it would be in a place that would allow co-location of the static display and exhibit hall.

“ABAG is committed to continuing the tradition of excellence for LABACE,” said Aquino.

“Certainly, as the name indicates, the intention is that it be a Latin American show,” said Bolen. While the show is modeled on the popular European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, Bolen said it is necessary to recognize that there were certain natural advantages that contributed to the early success of EBACE. Among them is the fact that Europe is a much smaller area geographically, and the European Union has created a greater common interest. But he added, “This does not mean ABAG and NBAA have given up on the idea of a show for all of Latin America.”