LABACE 2018 opened with Flavio Pires, CEO of Brazilian business aviation association ABAG, welcoming the public to a reformulated event and a reformulated ABAG, seeking unity among civil aviation associations and cooperation with government authorities regulating aviation, to further business aviation’s growth and its safety.
From the safety perspective, but also business, ABAG continues its fight against piracy, which includes not only gray market charters but also irregular maintenance and importation and sale of parts.
“The fair has 20 percent new exhibitors and there are 45 foreign missions coming to LABACE this year as visitors, with an eye to coming as exhibitors next year,” Pires told the opening assembly, in a new auditorium at the center of the show featuring a four-sided stage for an expanded program of panels and speakers.
National civil aviation authority ANAC president José Ricardo Botelho spoke of his agency’s commitment to the fight against piracy and the importance of São Paulo’s airports, especially as the state is now the country’s second highest in oil production. Air Brigadier Jeferson Domingues de Freitas, head of Air Force airspace control department DECEA, spoke of the redesign of the São Paulo terminal and the advantages it will bring to business aviation. Specifically, the plan will enable IFR operations at important business aviation airports in Sorocaba, Jundiaí, and Campo de Marte.
“LABACE at Campo de Marte in 2020 may be a reality,” Domingues said. DECEA is modeling general air traffic rules on those of the FAA, he concluded.
Secretary of civil aviation Dario Lopes, the country’s highest civil aviation authority, lauded general aviation’s importance both in numbers—92 percent of the total aircraft fleet—and its ability to reach the many communities that commercial aviation arteries do not.
Noting that the government’s term ends this year (the presidential election is the major unknown hanging over LABACE), Lopes reviewed some of the improvements achieved and some underway. The government has made requirements more flexible for smaller airports, making them cheaper to build and cheaper to operate, “providing new options for general aviation.” He raised hopes that the air cargo portal being implemented will cut in half customs clearance times. New airport concessions, construction projects underway, fire equipment supplied to smaller airports, and support for regional airports were all mentioned. “We aim to strengthen civil aviation, and with that strengthen general aviation, which…strengthens Brazil.”