The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has been preparing its members for the new requirement for operators to have a safety management system (SMS). The Brussels-based group has staged a series of workshops on how to develop, implement and maintain an SMS toolkit according to the guidelines of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC).
The workshops are intended to help flight department managers to ensure that the SMS toolkit is appropriate to the size and complexity of their operation. The first event was held in Italy in late June and another session was held in Malta earlier this month.
Separately, EBAA held its first workshop on emergency response planning (ERP) on September 9 and 10. The workshop was based on EBAA’s recently published Emergency Response Guidance Manual, which it developed through its ERP steering group in conjunction with consultants Gates Aviation. The agenda covered ERP basic principles, general guidance and the framework of an emergency response. The idea is that business aircraft operators will come away from the meeting with an actual draft ERP plan prepared to match the realities of their own company’s situation.
Association Welcomes Regional Groups
Over the past year, EBAA has formally recognized the affiliation of five new national groups to its organization. The Brussels-based industry group now encompasses the newly formed Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA), the Spanish Executive Aviation Association, EBAA Belgium, the Malta Business Aviation Association and the Austrian Business Aviation Association. EBAA already has affiliations with groups in the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Norway and also acts under the auspices of the IBAC.
“The importance and reach of business aviation in Europe continues to increase, with the sector flourishing across the breadth of the region,” said EBAA president and CEO Brian Humphries. “EBAA supports the ongoing development of new, nonprofit, national associations that represent the interests of business aircraft operators and endeavors to advocate on their behalf not only locally, but also at the European level and globally by satisfying the requirements of IBAC membership.”
Europe’s national business aviation groups all face their own particular challenges. For example, RUBAA president Leonid Koshelev explained that the group is pushing for the adoption of internationally accepted, voluntary standards for the operation of business aircraft in his country.
His Maltese counterpart, Stanley Bugeja, is dealing with issues relating to the creation of an aircraft register for Malta. The Maltese group is also campaigning for improved access and facilities at Malta International Airport as well as for more acceptable fees and security procedures.
Regional Event Planned
Meanwhile, EBAA is to stage a regional forum in Austria early next year with the theme, “One Europe–a Roadmap for Aligning East and West.” The event will be held at the Hilton Vienna hotel in the Austrian capital on Jan. 20 and 21, 2011. Speakers are to include Austrian Business Aviation Association president Dr. Caspar Einem, as well as RUBAA chairman Koshelev and Kimon Daniilides, chairman of Greece’s Hellenic Air Carriers Association.
Among the topics to be discussed at the forum are challenges in arranging aircraft finance, achieving industry standards for insurance benefits and easing access for operators from eastern and western Europe when flying into their respective territories. EBAA has previously held regional forums in London and Berlin.
EBAA and NBAA are partners in organizing the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. The next edition of the show will be held May 17 to 19, 2011 (www.ebace.aero), and here at NBAA you can get more information at Booth No. 7524.