EBACE 2008 spools up

 - May 1, 2008, 11:04 AM

The annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is set to continue its seemingly relentless growth when it reconvenes in Geneva’s Palais d’Expositions (Palexpo) from May 20 to 22. High on the 2008 conference agenda are serious concerns about access to airports and to the U.S. generally, as well as pending new security requirements and possible environmental restrictions.

Some 14,000 visitors are expected to attend the 2008 EBACE, and if this is achieved it will represent almost a 25-percent increase on the 2007 total of 11,273. They will be able to visit at least 423 exhibitors (almost a 20-percent hike on last year) and these companies have now filled all of Palexpo’s Halls Six and Seven and close to three quarters of the show’s original Hall 7 (which now also houses a media enclave).

The European business aviation community–and growing numbers of their colleagues from North America, the Middle East and Asia–will gather in Geneva against a backdrop of uncertainty as to the degree to which the current turbulence in financial markets will affect the industry. Europe has continued to be a source of significant growth for manufacturers and service providers–especially since its currencies remain strong against the emaciated U.S. dollar. However, its economies now seem vulnerable to at least a slowdown and the question is whether the emerging bizav markets of the Middle East and Asia can compensate sufficiently for any softening in demand.

Evidently, manufacturers are still seeing the glass as half full, with Gulfstream, Cessna and Bombardier all coming to EBACE with new large-cabin jets to tout (the G650, the Citation Columbus and the Learjet 85, respectively). At the other end of the spectrum, Eclipse and Cessna will be looking for more breakthroughs into the European market for very light jets–in the at-least-temporary absence of rival Adam Aircraft.

Absolutely all the world’s business aircraft manufacturers now flock to EBACE, and they are committed to showing more than 60 aircraft on the super-convenient static display at Geneva International Airport, which can be accessed directly from Hall 7. Most airframers, engine makers and avionics suppliers take the opportunity to hold maintenance and operations meetings during EBACE. The show roster will also feature helicopters from AgustaWestland, Bell and Eurocopter.

EBACE continues to be organized jointly by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and NBAA. The 2008 show will be the first for which new EBAA chief executive Eric Mandemaker will be at the helm of the Brussels-based organization. EBAA president (and former chief executive) Brian Humphries will still be prominent at this year’s event, as will NBAA president Ed Bolen.

Safety Standdown Comes to Europe

Bombardier will hold its second Safety Standdown event in Europe on the eve of the EBACE 2008 show. The gathering will consist of a full day of seminars in the Crowne Plaza Hotel (next to the Palexpo convention center) on May 19, with a reception to be held on the evening of May 18.

Safety Standdown is usually held in Wichita and promotes knowledge-based training and personal discipline for flight crew. The seminars are open to all pilots regardless of the type of aircraft they operate and is offered by the Canadian airframer free of charge. Among the safety experts set to participate in the Geneva seminar are David Ryan, Bombardier Business Aircraft’s chief pilot for Learjet operations; Sean Roberts, founder and director of the National Test Pilots School; airmanship specialist Dr. Tony Kern; and fatigue expert Dr. Mark Rosekind.

More information is available at www.safetystanddown.com

Look to AIN First for EBACE News

Aviation International News will publish three of its award-winning daily publications at the EBACE 2008 show. These will appear under the name EBACE Convention News on May 20, 21 and 22, and will be followed by a post-show report in the June issue of AIN (www.ainonline.com).

Once again, the new AINtv television service will broadcast from Geneva. Our special EBACE webcasts will appear online each day from May 21-25 (www.aintv.com).
Exhibitors wishing to submit news and information for editorial coverage in either EBACE Convention News or AINtv are invited to contact Charles Alcock, editor of AIN’s international show editions, as soon as possible (tel 44 1252 727758) or e-mail CAlcockAIN@aol.com.

EBACE Highlights

This year’s EBACE conference agenda features some weighty and contentious issues, including the following highlights:

Tuesday, May 20

• 9 a.m. Opening General Session. Keynote speeches by the European Commission’s director general for air transport, Daniel Calleja, and astronaut Claude Nicollier.

• 2 to 5 p.m. Business aviation and the environment: setting the standard. Speakers include EBAA environmental expert André Clodong and Rich Gage, president of the Canadian Business Aviation Association and chairman of the environmental working group of the International Business Aviation Council.

• 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The Single European Sky and Sesar: the ATM concept of operations and required technological changes. Speakers include Bernard Miailler and David Marsh from Eurocontrol, Serge Lebourg from Dassault Aviation and Miroslav Matousek of Honeywell.

Wednesday, May 21

• 9:30 to 11 a.m. Airport and transatlantic access. (EBAA describes this issue as “the biggest danger to the future of business aviation in Europe.”) Speakers include Nikolaas Pel, from the infrastructure and airports unit of the European Commission’s Directorate General of Transport and the Environment; Mark Wilson, director of regulatory affairs for NetJets Europe; David Carlisle of TAG Aviation; and (to be confirmed) Dayton Lehman from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

• 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Business aviation safety update: continuous improvement and tackling the problems of level busts, gross navigational errors and runway incursions. Speakers include Karen Skinner from the UK’s National Air Traffic Services, Chris Finnegan from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, John Duncan from the FAA and Bill Voss, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation.

• 2 to 3 p.m. EU and U.S. security developments and the implications for business aviation. Speakers include Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of operations, and Lindsey McFarran and Vicki Reeder from the general aviation division of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

• 3:30 to 5 p.m. Synthetic and enhanced vision devices: what are the benefits and will they be affordable to all? Speakers include Frans van Gorkum, senior avionics expert with the European Aviation Safety Agency; Mike Mena, Gulfstream Aerospace’s director of advanced cockpit programs; Tom Horne, Gulfstream’s senior experimental test pilot; and Sergio Cecutta, marketing product manager for crew information with Honeywell Aerospace.

Thursday, May 22

• 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. How can we leverage the benefits of synthetic training and will EASA change the rules? Speakers include Eric Sivel, deputy director of EASA’s rulemaking directorate; Capt. Robin Pursey with Airbus Corporate Aviation; and Steve Fedynyszyn, director of regulatory affairs with FlightSafety International.

• 1 to 4 p.m. EASA operations and licensing rules workshop. Speakers include Claude Probst, director of EASA rulemaking directorate; Luis Antonio Cardoso Ribeiro, senior officer with EASA’s flight crew licensing division; and EBAA chief executive Eric Mandemaker.