The annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) will
be staged next month (May 18 to 20) in Geneva. The event, organized jointly by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and NBAA, has now established itself as Europe’s undisputed prime showcase for business aviation products and services. It is set to be bigger than ever this year, with more than 250 exhibitors slated to occupy more than 850 booths.
EBACE has almost outgrown Hall 7 of Geneva’s Palais d’Expositions (Palexpo), and organizers have been laying plans to let the exhibition spill over into adjoining halls. Hall 7 has direct access, via a walkway, to a static display area inside the neighboring Geneva Airport. Organizers expect this area to be packed with around 40 business aircraft (see box).
Last year’s show drew 6,487 attendees. This represented 8-percent growth on the 2003 event. Attendance at this year’s event is expected to exceed the 7,000 mark.
This year’s conference will address important regulatory and operational changes on the ground and in the air through the formation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the implementation of Eurocontrol’s Single European Sky plan to harmonize air traffic management.
Scheduled speakers include EASA’s head of rulemaking, Claude Probst; Eurocontrol director general Victor Aguado; and the European Commission (EC) director of air transport, Daniel Calleja Crespo. EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries and NBAA president Ed Bolen will moderate the opening session on May 18.
Hot Topics: Frax Rules, Security
Conference sessions will address the following topics: navigational developments in Europe (such as PRnav and mode-S enhanced); harmonization of rules for corporate, fractional and commercial operations; future environmental requirements; air traffic management charges; new-generation helicopters; increased security regulations for business aviation; and legal issues for transatlantic flights.
The security debate will be important because the EC is expected to extend the requirement for full enforcement of national aviation security program control procedures to aircraft that weigh between 5,952 and 22,005 pounds or with fewer than 20 seats operating under commercial rules.
The business aviation community in Europe also faces the prospect of a new ATC charging formula that would discriminate against smaller aircraft in favor
of larger airliners. In addition, European Union governments are now escalating the debate over the proposed taxation of aviation fuel on environmental grounds.
IS-BAO Workshop Scheduled
On May 17 the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) will host a workshop on its International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) program. Operators can find more details of this session on the IBAC Web site www.ibac.org/ is-bao/Audit%20Workshop. htm.
All the major business aircraft and engine manufacturers have scheduled maintenance and operations sessions during EBACE, covering all product lines. Full details of these meetings and other conference program details, are available via the EBACE Web site at www.ebace.aero.
Organizers Announce Exhibitors
The main novelty exhibit for EBACE 2005 appears to be the Cessna Citation Mustang mock-up, featuring a full-size cabin and a functioning cockpit with the new Garmin G1000 avionics suite.
Cessna will also exhibit a Citation X, Sovereign, Citation XLS, CJ3, CJ2+ and CJ1+.
Bombardier will give an EBACE debut to its new Global 5000. Another example of this type appeared at the Farnborough Air Show in July last year, but the Canadian airframer is set to unveil a new demonstrator model, featuring a full production interior.
Bombardier will also be exhibiting a new, production-configured Challenger 300 demonstrator. The company may also bring a Challenger 604 to the show.
The Canadian airframer is also likely to populate the Geneva static display with a full complement of its current production aircraft, including the Global XRS and Challenger 300, as well as the Learjets 40 and 45XR.
Gulfstream is planning to display the G550, the G450 and the G200.
Raytheon Aircraft is taking the Hawker 800XP, Horizon and Premier I jets, as well as a Beechcraft King Air 350 to Geneva.
Brazil’s Embraer will exhibit a Legacy in Geneva. Both the Boeing Business Jet and the rival Airbus Corporate Jetliner are likely to be standing tall on the EBACE ramp, but organizers have not yet confirmed this.
Dassault has also yet to announce its aircraft line-up for the show. It seems highly improbable that the exciting new Falcon 7X jet will arrive, because the company is preparing the trijet for its imminent first flight.
Pilatus will show its fast-selling PC-12 turboprop single. European rivals EADS Socata (with its TBM 700) and Piaggio Aero Industries (with the P.180 Avanti) are on the exhibitor list but did not confirm whether they would be bringing aircraft to the show.
Avcraft, which offers the Dornier 328 Envoy jet, is booked to exhibit at EBACE. However, with the company having filed for insolvency in a German court last month (see related story on page 91), it remains unclear whether this plan will hold.
Of the manufacturers of the new-generation very light jets, only Eclipse Aviation and Cessna so far have committed to a presence at this year’s Geneva show.