NBAA Convention News

EBACE organizers target Geneva site improvements

 - September 30, 2008, 8:20 AM

The organizers of the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, a joint venture between NBAA and European counterpart EBAA, expect the 2009 edition of the show to be about the same size as the 2008 event, but are working on improvements aimed at making the convention better than ever. EBACE 2009 will take place from May 12 to 14 at the PalExpo convention center next to Geneva’s international airport.

Due to the slowing economy, EBAA CEO Eric Mandemaker said he does not expect the show to grow further from this year’s record numbers, at 13,692 visitors.  Nevertheless, he said he believes EBACE still represents an excellent opportunity to extend the reach of business aviation to buyers outside North America. “We are focusing on those business and political leaders in Europe who have not been introduced to business aviation,” he said. Mandemaker said he anticipates the increasing number of airports available for IFR operations and an improved air traffic management program on the continent will yield growth in business aviation across Europe.

Next year, one major improvement at EBACE will be a “better placement of sessions,” which have been held each year in the show’s main hall next to the static display. Mandemaker said although it is a convenient location, there are issues with noise.

Mandemaker added that the static display is at capacity and there is no additional space at the busy airport. With 61 aircraft, the static area was cramped last May. “We are very thankful to the airport for what they supply already,” he said.

EBACE 2009 will use Halls 5, 6 and 7 again at PalExpo. “Hall 7 provides the kind of atmosphere aircraft manufacturers like, notably the neighboring static display,” Mandemaker said. The number of exhibitors is not expected to increase significantly from this year’s 440.