Leaders of three general aviation organizations went on the offensive yesterday in response to an Air Transport Association plan that would place a tax (read user fees) on the number of “departures” and “time in system” and give the airlines the most influence among ATC system stakeholders.
National Business Aviation Association
Few would dispute the fact that the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) has been a roaring success. A decade ago, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) held its annual meetings at a hotel in the suburbs of Brussels.
A decade ago, many U.S. charter operators were voicing the same anxieties that their European counterparts are expressing today in their opposition to proposed new part-private part-commercial operating rules for fractional ownership. In short, they too believed that the major fractional providers would wipe them off the face of the earth, having been handed an unfair competitive advantage.
This morning’s EBACE 2006 Opening General Session, starting at 10:30 in Ballroom B, promises to provide important “need to know” information about the state of European business aviation, according to Brian Humphries, EBAA chief executive, and Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the U.S. National Business Aviation Association and moderator of the session.
The recipient of the this year’s NBAA John P. “Jack” Doswell Award, given for lifetime achievement in furthering the goals of business aviation, said the great people he has had the opportunity to work with over the years have meant more to him than anything else.
The nation’s major airlines have declared war on business aviation and, as the weapon to win that war, they intend to push for ATC user fees to be levied upon business aviation operators. This was the message NBAA president Ed Bolen delivered April 8 at the Arizona Business Aircraft Association (AZBAA) forum in Scottsdale.
If not for an uninvited party crasher, NBAA would be holding its 58th annual meeting and convention in the Big Easy in the middle of next month. Instead, Hurricane Katrina muscled her way into New Orleans in late August, forcing a quick relocation to Orlando for a November 9 to 11 gathering, a week earlier than previously planned.
NBAA senior v-p of operations Bob Blouin resigned for certain at the end of last month. He had announced in March that he would resign, but returned two days later when former NBAA president and CEO Shelley Longmuir left the association. This time, Blouin’s resignation comes less than three weeks after Ed Bolen was named the association’s new president and CEO.
After searching for several months to find a new leader for NBAA, the association’s board of directors reached into the ranks of the general aviation industry early last month to select Ed Bolen to lead business aviation into the second century of flight.