“The weather's bad, but the business climate is good,” is how ABAG CEO Flávio Pires summed up the rainy LABACE 2017. “Our vision is of a better economy next year, and business aviation reflects the economy. We all hope and expect that Brazil will leave the current crisis. Next year's fair should be better.”
Pires offered more than hope, noting that proposals and demos have all been on the increase. “Client visits have been intense since the start of the year. Last year, they just weren't visiting. The purchase process takes time, and all the movement that's taking place will result in new deliveries in six to 12 months. Nothing entered the pipeline last year, but now the pipeline is full.”
LABACE 2017 lacked major debuts, but it had rain, lots and lots of rain. Tuesday was wet, and Wednesday delivered on forecasts of even wetter. The act of God, however, was anticipated and mitigated by acts of man. The organizers spent six days repairing the aging roof of the hangar that holds the stands, and Wednesday morning before the rain, a crew of 15 was patching leaks that had appeared. A stock of large, sturdy umbrellas with the LABACE logo provided more proof that someone had thought ahead—even Paris couldn't manage that last year.
“I'd like to hold the fair in a place that's better adapted, with better infrastructure,” Pires mused, to a background of raindrops, echoing a complaint of past fairs. Congonhas Airport has been home to LABACE for most of its first 15 years, and the relatively small space necessitates shoehorning the aircraft sequentially into a narrow corridor. He acknowledged, however, that the current site is conveniently located and offers the charm of proximity between stands, the static area and the chalets.
Pires finished with a forecast of instability, “Next year is an election year. Depending on who the candiates are, it can be good or bad for the economy.”