NBAA chief praises Japan

 - March 29, 2007, 11:30 AM

Early last month several hundred people attended a business aviation conference in Nagoya, Japan, focused on the planned opening early next year of Komaki Airport to business aviation. (For more on business aviation access in Japan, see “Washington Report” on page 102.) Among the speakers at the Nagoya conference was NBAA president Shelley Longmuir. Here are excerpts from her presentation.

“Before I begin, I would like to congratulate Governor Kanda, his Aichi Prefecture staff and other members of the organizing committee for supporting the Business Aviation Conference. On behalf of the business aviation community, we look forward to working with you over the next year as you prepare to transform this international airport into a tremendous resource for business aviation and your community.

A joint statement from the 40th annual U.S.-Japan Business Conference, held November 3 in Washington, D.C., reported that despite some progress, the U.S.-Japan Business Council recognizes that Japan still lags behind most other countries in its policies and practices toward business aviation. Further improvements–in such areas as number of available slots, expansion of hours of operation, simplification of customs processes and construction of FBOs to provide services for business aviation–are required.

These are not insurmountable challenges. And, in fact, I believe that today’s Business Aviation Conference signals tremendous progress for business
aviation in Japan. Further, I believe that adoption of a deregulation plan for international business aircraft at Nagoya and other regional airports will provide a strong statement for the council that Japan supports business aviation.
We look forward to the day that Japan can claim the distinction of a business aviation airport to support the thousands of Japanese and international businesses located here.

I know that our business aviation colleagues in Japan, the Japan Business Aviation Association under the strong leadership of chairman Takayuki Hashizume, have worked tirelessly to support improved business aviation access to Japan. We appreciate their support and look forward to continuing our strong relationship.

Indeed, Asia is a rapidly growing market for business aviation, representing unparalleled opportunity for companies using these aircraft. Last year, more than 30 percent of international business aviation flights by U.S. companies were to Asia and the Pacific.

The growing aviation market in this part of the globe has not gone unnoticed. Just a few days ago at Asian Aerospace 2004 in Singapore, I announced the launch of the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, or ABACE, scheduled for Shanghai, China, in summer 2005. NBAA’s two other international shows in Geneva, Switzerland, and São Paulo, Brazil, have been extremely successful venues for buyers and sellers of business aviation products and services. We are confident that ABACE will provide the same opportunities for Asia.”