Marking a year of rapid growth since its launch at EBACE 2012, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA; Booth 2135) announced here at EBACE 2013 that it would stage a business aviation expo of its own next April in conjunction with the Marrakech Air Show. The expo and air show will be held on April 23 to 26 at Marrakech’s FRA Airport. AfBAA’s expo will cover 50,000 sq m (540,000 sq ft), providing room for booths, static displays and chalets.
“The association’s commitment to launch a dedicated show demonstrates AfBAA’s pledge to bring together African aviation companies from a wide variety of sectors,” said Tarek Ragheb, AfBAA’s founding chairman. “Things have evolved [for AfBAA] very, very fast.”
Ragheb also announced that the African Union has granted AfBAA official observer status, making it the first association to be given such a seat. “For the first time, the association will have the tools at its fingertips to be able to influence the regulatory environment in 56 states,” he said. “We’ll have the opportunity to be in a forum where [governmental] decisions are made.”
Introducing the association’s new magazine, African Sky, Ragheb said the publication is “dedicated primarily to business aviation, but much broader.” He explained that it will have editorial content reflecting the diversity of the African continent. The first issue is planned for publication in July.
Additionally, Ragheb named the last of the association’s 20 founding members, JetNet (Booth 930), the aviation data and analysis company, and he noted that the company will help with AfBAA’s current research project, aimed at identifying the key areas of African business aviation that require improvement.
AfBAA represents Africa’s business aircraft owners, operators and suppliers, and promotes the understanding of the benefits that business aviation provides to the continent.