Attendance at LABACE, which was held earlier this month in São Paulo, Brazil, came in at 11,681 visitors, according to organizer Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (Abag), Brazil’s business and general aviation association. This figure is down about 2,000 from last year’s show and more than 4,000 shy of initial estimates. With a reconfigured venue at São Paulo Congonhas Airport, LABACE 2014 hosted more than 100 exhibitors and a static park displaying nearly 70 aircraft, ranging from light piston singles to ultra-long-range business jets.
Eduardo Campos, a political contender for the Brazilian presidency, was one of seven people who died when a Brazilian-registered Cessna Citation XLS+ crashed on August 13. The aircraft was preparing to land at a military field in the coastal city of Guarujá 53 miles southeast of São Paulo. Early reports said the aircraft was attempting to go around after an approach in rainy, windy weather when it struck the ground, damaging several homes.
Brazil’s regional development plan calls for 270 new regional airports. But that’s a number many see as unrealistically high. Passenger numbers have been growing 10 percent per year, but much of the Brazilian population still has no easy access to airports. There are only around 130 airports with scheduled airline service is a country the size of the U.S.
Being shown in Latin America for the first time is the MAGnificent interior for the Bell 429 helicopter, created by the Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG, Booth 1009). The VVIP interior has been designed with a range of amenities, including a center console with access to storage, insulated drink container and USB ports.
The LABACE show’s 11th edition opened today at São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport, with the mood of Brazilian business and general aviation cautiously optimistic. “Once more in 2013 the market grew by 5 to 6 percent, as it has for the last decade,” said Eduardo Marson, president of Brazilian business aviation industry group and LABACE organizer ABAG.
The 11th annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition opens today in Sao Paulo, Brazil. AIN’s team of reporters and photographers is there providing constant news updates on all stories from the show.
The LABACE show’s 11th edition opens today with the mood of Brazilian business and general aviation cautiously optimistic. “Once more in 2013 the market grew by 5 to 6 percent, as it has for the last decade,” Eduardo Marson, president of industry group ABAG told a press conference here in São Paulo on Friday.
Gulfstream Aerospace has strengthened its Latin American customer support network with the official opening yesterday of its new maintenance facility at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport in Sorocaba, around 37 miles (60 km) west of São Paulo. The 38,000-sq-ft (3,530-sq-m) facility is large enough to house four large-cabin and three mid-cabin aircraft simultaneously.
Brazilian business aviation faces a squeeze between official restrictions and unofficial competition, vying with airline traffic for limited slots at the country’s major airports and with illegal “pirate” air taxi services for customers. Hosting the World Cup soccer tournament at 12 host cities around the country in June and July served as a stress test of the country’s aviation infrastructure. Although no major problems occurred, many, including industry group ABAG, feel that business aviation was sacrificed for that apparent success–and that this does not bode well.
Following years of growth, which recently has outpaced the U.S. and Europe in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, 2014 has proven so far to be a bit of a corrective period for business aviation sales throughout Brazil and Latin America. Despite weakening performance in some areas, however, OEMs remain bullish about long-term demand for their business aircraft offerings.
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