Business aviation is a global industry, requiring global focus Ed Bolen is President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) This is an unquestionably exciting time for the international business aviation industry. New aircraft deliveries are up, new airframes with exciting capabilities are reshaping the market and business aviation operations are on the rise in nearly every market across the globe, including throughout Europe. Of course, just as our industry provides the ability transcend borders, we must also recognize how matters affecting business aviation operations in one region often carry far-reaching implications. That is why the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) continues to advocate on behalf of our industry worldwide. NBAA collaborates with global industry stakeholders on matters ranging from environmental responsibility, to concerns over slot allocation, airspace access, flight time limitations and other restrictions to the industry. As one example, NBAA has worked the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) to ensure that general aviation and business aviation interests are represented as the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority works to develop a far-reaching master plan defining the country’s airport network for the next 30 years. Currently, economic pressure on UK airports to accommodate low-cost air carrier operations has threatened to squeeze out business aircraft that must compete with airliners for available slots under EU Regulation 95/93, which states general aviation and business aviation receive only those slots that are not taken by scheduled operators. This situation is compounded by recently-enacted noise-related night curfews from which business aircraft were once exempt. Combined, these challenges have left aviation planners and third-party handlers having to advise passengers they might not get what they want in terms of desired landing or takeoff times at their preferred airport. The upcoming UK Brexit from the European Union further complicates the situation, with concerns over valuation of the British pound, cabotage issues for EU-registered aircraft and possible diminishing of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s jurisdiction over the region. While these matters continue to pose challenges to operators, our industry has also realized significant progress towards aviation access. This includes refinements to the Prior Permission Required (PPR) system at Geneva Airport (LSGG), home of the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, or EBACE, jointly sponsored by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and NBAA. This new approach allows for more flexibility, accommodating scenarios such as the need to change an aircraft due to maintenance or other issues. Efficiency and slot availability in Geneva have also increased under the new ‘match requirement’ in which operators file a flight plan, then request a slot reservation. This ensures that any files with mismatches between flight plans and slot requests are not included in the system. Taking the reins to address environmental concerns Environmental sustainability is another key concern for all aviation stakeholders, and it’s an area in which business aviation has continued to lead. For example, a coalition of international business aviation organizations joined government officials earlier this year at EBACE to redouble their focus on advancing the development and adoption of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF). This renewed effort reflects our industry’s long-standing commitment to emissions reduction, including, among other aims, carbon neutrality from 2020 forward. At the heart of this initiative is a new product – the Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Fuel (SAJF) – focused on raising awareness and adoption of available and emerging sustainable alternative jet-fuel options, and providing a roadmap for the education about, and use of, SAJF. Business aviation stakeholders were also represented, through IBAC, as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) worked to adopt its upcoming Carbon Offsetting Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA, which aims to cap worldwide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from aviation. Earlier this year, the ICAO Council agreed upon a set of standards and recommended practices in line with measures previously outlined through the 2009 Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change (BACCC), including the industry’s pledge for carbon-neutral growth after 2020. Addressing such far-reaching issues requires that our industry maintain a global perspective. One of the most effective methods for doing so is through NBAA’s support for influential annual industry events like EBACE that also serve to underscore the importance of business aviation to local leaders in business and government, as it positively impacts communities by aiding companies in efficiently performing day-to-day operations, generating new jobs and spurring economic activity and local investment. These themes will continue at the 2019 edition of EBACE, taking place in Geneva from 21-23 May. EBACE traditionally provides a convenient opportunity to view a wide array of aircraft and aviation products in a single location, hosting a wide variety of exciting announcements for new products and features, as well as high-quality education sessions focused on issues of particular importance to European business aviation users and operators. For those unable to attend EBACE, the matters affecting the worldwide business aviation industry will also be in focus at other NBAA-sponsored events around the world, including NBAA’s own Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) that for 2019 will return to Las Vegas, NV from 22-24 October. As the world’s largest event dedicated to the global business aviation industry, NBAA-BACE brings together approximately 25,000 attendees, exhibitors and other stakeholders to discuss the latest matters affecting international business aviation operations. It is certainly quite encouraging to see our industry continuing its rebound from the depths of the 2008-2009 economic recession. That said, we must also maintain our focus on the challenges confronting business aviation access, growth and safety, which is why international advocacy will continue to be a key mission for NBAA. Business aviation remains a strong and vital industry across the globe, and these efforts are crucial towards ensuring that it continues to grow and succeed for years to come.
This renewed effort reflects our industry’s long-standing commitment to emissions reduction, including, among other aims, carbon neutrality from 2020 forward