Tough business conditions in Europe have gone on much longer than anyone here at this year’s EBACE would have liked, show organizers said today at a media briefing, but the continent’s business aviation community is putting those concerns to one side this week as it seeks to convince policy makers of the value the sector delivers. The value of the show itself is in no doubt, with the amount of exhibit space occupied this year at Geneva’a Palexpo center matching last year’s record numbers and the static display having to be increased in size to accommodate no fewer than 52 aircraft.
EBAA chief executive Fabio Gamba might be stoical about economic conditions in Europe, but he is less patient with the way the continent’s political leadership is treating business aviation. “Some countries [like Italy and the UK] have singled out business aviation as a misguided source of tax revenue,” he said. Meanwhile, Ed Bolen, president of EBACE co-organizer NBAA, said EBACE is an important show in good or bad times, “and probably even more so in the bad times. The show is important because it puts buyers and sellers together and because it gives us an opportunity to promote business aviation around the world.”