Innovation will be on full display during this week at EBACE 2019, with mockups of eVTOLs on display, a focus on the future of sustainability and alternative fuels, and a spotlight on the next generation of business aviation professional, organizers EBAA and NBAA said.
The annual show in Geneva typically draws more than 13,000 attendees representing some 100 countries, and Chris Strong, senior v-p of conventions and membership for EBACE co-host NBAA, said advance registrations were running at least on par, if not a little ahead, of last year in the run-up to the event. Meanwhile, the static display is sold out again, he added. “It’s chock full. We couldn’t be more excited by how it is coming together.”
More than 50 aircraft will be on static exhibition, with participating aircraft scheduled to range from a Cirrus SR22 to a Junkers F13, alongside an extensive range of in-production business jets, including an ACJ319neo. Due to construction projects at Geneva International Airport, the static display returns to the same location as last year, with buses running regularly between Palexpo’s Hall 7 and the static display area.
Upwards of 400 exhibitors typically display their wares inside the Palexpo exhibit hall and this year will be no different, with space covering about 40,000 sq m (430,500 sq ft). Returning this year inside the exhibit hall will be the new exhibitors' pavilion, which will host 11 such exhibitors this year. According to Strong, there are also several other new exhibitors located throughout the show halls.
For the first time, three companies—FACC AG and EHang (Booth D27), Pegasus Universal Aerospace (Booth D23), and MAEAM (Booth D21)—are bringing eVTOL mockups to the show floor. They are located near the show entrance adjacent to the Innovation Zone. Urban mobility will be a key theme at this year’s Innovation Zone, with a panel discussion planned on Wednesday with key leaders and entrepreneurs.
In addition, a separate discussion on electric mobility will be hosted at the Innovation Zone on Tuesday. “These panels are among our most popular,” said Dan Hubbard, senior v-p of communications for NBAA, noting that the growing sector is attracting wide interest.
The topic will also be among the themes at the opening keynote session on Tuesday, with Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter scheduled as a speaker. Volocopter, which has secured a provisional license from the German aviation authorities for its two-seat vehicle, was the first to conduct a manned flight of an entirely electrical multi-copter.
Joining Reuter as a keynote speaker is Grant Shapps MP from the UK Parliament, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation. NBAA noted that Shapps has been a champion of general aviation airports in the UK. “We’re honored to have such bold leaders with us for the Opening Keynote Session at EBACE,” said NBAA president and CEO, Ed Bolen, while announcing the speakers. “EBACE is Europe’s best forum to share the latest ideas in aviation policy, new business models, and technology, and this year’s show features a full lineup of visionaries.”
On the sustainability front, EBACE is witnessing a large fly-in of business aircraft running on sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF). This included the arrival of a number of aircraft from TAG Farnborough Airport in the UK, as well others flying in on SAJF from other parts of the world. SAJF and sustainability will be a theme highlighted throughout the week in a demonstration of how serious the business aviation community is on the topic, Hubbard said, noting that the fly-in is “helping to introduce the effort to the European theater.” Among the events planned is a SAFJ session at the Innovation Zone on Tuesday that will feature a range of industry leaders from manufacturers, fuel providers, and associations, among others.
Sustainability is anticipated to play a role in a Young Professionals event that will feature an activity similar to the television show "Shark Tank," in which the future generation of workers will have the opportunity to present ideas that will shape the future of business aviation. “We have a couple of groups that are going to present ideas on how to enrich and embolden sustainability in business aviation,” said Strong.
With ongoing concerns about workforce shortages, the development of the next generation of business aviation professionals will also remain in focus. As in the past, the event will host the Careers in Business Aviation Day on Thursday. Organizers are taking an increasingly more sophisticated approach by matching mentors that have experience or expertise in the areas of interest of prospective professionals, Hubbard noted.
Also, a Young Professionals event on Tuesday will showcase a group of 10 prospective business aviation professionals that was sponsored to attend the One Young World Summit at The Hague, Netherlands, a renowned event designed to help foster future leaders. These professionals will have an opportunity to share their experiences and participate in other activities throughout the show.