The new board of directors of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA, Booth H527), elected last year, is focusing on reinvigorating the organization to better serve its members and business aviation participants in Asia.
“When we took over in April we decided on core themes,” said David Best, president of Asia Pacific for BBA Aviation and vice-chairman of AsBAA. “We’re working through the issues, how to support the members and working with our sister organizations. This led to a number of projects to be pursued.”
One of those projects is rewriting the AsBAA bylaws. “Previously we didn’t have effective bylaws, so we rewrote them and sent them to the members,” he said. “We also changed the registered office to be a Hong Kong company instead of [being registered in] the British Virgin Islands, for better proximity to the local governments in this region. Now we have an organization that is transparent. And we set about to upgrade the brand image, launched an updated website and added forum capabilities.”
A key issue for Asia-based business aircraft operators is the new mandates for equipment installations, the most pressing being requirements for ADS-B out avionics. Many Asian countries already require ADS-B out above 29,000 feet in certain areas and on certain routes. At a general members meeting on Monday, AsBAA outlined plans for a roadshow to help explain to operators current and upcoming equipage needs between now and 2020. This will also include teaching operators about how the ICAO process works. Other issues are the lack of parking space at Hong Kong International Airport and block permits that will allow operators to make multiple flights without applying for a single permit for each flight. “We were pleased to get strong operator participation,” Best said.
AsBAA has also formed new working groups to address the challenges of operating in Asia. “We’re creating action items to approach the regulators and airport [operators],” said Charlie Mularski, Universal Weather & Aviation regional vice president, Asia Pacific and also AsBAA vice-chairman. “We’re connecting with IBAC and NBAA where the rubber meets the road,” he said. “This is a good conduit to escalate issues to IBAC or push down best practices to operators. Both NBAA and IBAC recognize the value of AsBAA and we are working a lot more together.
“We’re representing the value of business aviation to the authorities,” he added. “Business aviation creates jobs and moves commerce, and we want to tear down the stigma common in Asia that it’s only for the rich and famous. We’re advocating with the authorities and regulators and the market that business aviation’s value is more than what they think.”
During the past year, 20 new companies joined AsBAA. There are now 95 members, most based in Asia and some from outside the region. “It’s important that we’re a voice for business aviation in the region; to have a voice is important for our members,” Best said.
“AsBAA is making progress and Bombardier is supportive of the way it’s developing,” said Leo Knappen, Bombardier’s manager of industry relations, who represents Bombardier’s membership as a platinum founding member of AsBAA. “There is a need for AsBAA here in this vast region. The organization is growing properly and identifying priorities for 2014 and beyond. It is serving AsBAA’s membership well.”