Tough business conditions in Europe have gone on much longer than anyone here at this year’s EBACE show would have liked, 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 at Geneva’s PalExpo center matching last year’s record numbers and the static display having to be increased in size to accommodate 52 aircraft.
European Business Aviation Association
This week’s EBACE show will be the second that Fabio Gamba has presided over since becoming chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) in September 2012. He joined the bizav community after serving as deputy general secretary of the Association of European Airlines. The EBAA board specifically wanted to tap the political skills of the powerful airline lobby in a bid to avoid business aviation’s interests being overlooked by European authorities.
Europe’s continued–and in some respects worsening–economic troubles give little grounds for optimism, and yet industry mood ahead of the 13th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) appeared to be surprisingly bullish. This may be due in part to the success of the show (May 21 to 23) in attracting both exhibitors and visitors from well beyond the cash-strapped continent.
“There are still a number of battles to win if we are to see business aircraft flight activities in Europe return to pre-crisis rates,” EBAA chairman Rodolfo Baviera said at the association’s annual general meeting, held on Friday in Brussels. “EBAA has established a set of key priorities aimed at removing growth barriers for our sector–be they financial or operational–to ensure that we can continue meeting the demand” for business aircraft travel.
NBAA has changed the name for its largest annual U.S. event from “Annual Meeting & Convention” to “Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition” (BACE), the association announced yesterday. The new name for NBAA’s flagship event brings it into alignment with the other dedicated, business-aviation-only shows that the group co-hosts around the world, including EBACE in Europe and ABACE in Asia.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) general assembly elected two new board members yesterday and held a workshop for its MEBAA aviation insurance scheme (MAIS). Saudia Private Aviation managing director Wajdi Al Idrissi and Comlux president and CEO Richard Gaona were elected to the association’s board, where they join other industry leaders to promote business aviation in the Middle East.
The Gulf region is in need of a sound regional business aviation policy and is suffering from lack of a dedicated regulatory environment, said London-based lawyer Aoife O’Sullivan during a break yesterday from overseeing several business aircraft transaction on the fringes of MEBA 2012 in Dubai.
The evils posed by the gray market, the disconnect between regional operators and regulators as they attempt to curb it, and the problem of perception for business aviation in the Middle East, dominated the discussion at the second biennial MEBA Conference (MEBAC), which convened at the Dubai Marina on the eve of the show.
The business aviation lobby broadly welcomed the European Commission’s sudden suspension of the application of its controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS) for flights in and out of the European Union (EU). The move seems to head off the immediate threat of a trade war with major powers such as the U.S., China, Russia, India and Japan but, significantly, ETS will still apply to intra-EU flights, regardless of whether or not the operators involved are based in the EU.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) hosted the first Jordanian Regional Forum at the Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on October 8. The agenda for the event, which was sponsored by the Ayla Aviation Academy, included issues such as local restrictions on airspace and airport access, enhancing safety audits, crisis management techniques and reducing so-called gray market, illegal charter activity.