Conventions in 2019 showcase business aviation’s exciting future Ed Bolen is President and CEO the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business aviation continues to evolve before our eyes, as the industry embraces new technologies and looks to the exciting possibilities in its future. This forward-looking spirit is seen throughout an impressive roster of international events sponsored by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) including the recently concluded European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva. Co-hosted by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and NBAA, the 2019 edition of EBACE built upon its status as Europe’s premier business aviation event with a show floor spanning three halls at Palexpo, featuring nearly 400 exhibitors, including 10 new to EBACE that were prominently located in the shows New Exhibitor Pavilion. The packed halls were continuously filled with attendees representing more than 80 countries, who came to Geneva to network with their peers and learn about the latest issues and developments affecting business aviation across Europe and around the globe. EBACE2019 also showcased a roster of future technologies, perhaps most notably sustainable flight and urban air mobility. The first-ever EBACE Innovation Pavilion featured three distinctive electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and concepts, while the adjacent Innovation Zone hosted a panel presentation on eVTOL and the urban air mobility revolution. The EBACE Opening Keynote Session also looked to the industry’s future with Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter, who described his company’s eVTOL air taxi as “the perfect complement and addition to business aviation.” Fellow keynote speaker Grant Shapps, UK Member of Parliament, called business aviation “essential” and predicted that EBACE, “will be here in another decade’s time with this exhibition bigger and more important than ever.” EBACE among events highlighting innovation on 3 continents While EBACE provided a clear look at the future of business aviation, it’s important to note that innovation has long been a hallmark of other NBAA-sponsored events, including the annual Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) and the association’s own Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE.) Consider ABACE2019, held earlier this year in Shanghai, and jointly hosted by the NBAA and the Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA) and coordinated with the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA). ABACE featured keynote addresses that examined the emerging role of eVTOL, as well as several urban air mobility vehicle concepts from companies across the region. This technology also played an important part at last year’s NBAA-BACE in Orlando, FL with two keynote addresses headlined by visionaries pioneering the future of business aviation. Uber Elevate CEO Eric Allison shared the company’s plans for fostering urban mobility, while Solar Impulse Chair Bertrand Piccard told his story of flying around the world without a drop of fuel. These presentations took place amidst a first-time immersive experience with the 2018 Collier Award-winning Cirrus Vision Jet on display, as well as an experimental flying car from Terrafugia. EBACE continued this tradition of putting innovation at center stage, in part by promoting environmental sustainability and reducing business aviation’s carbon footprint. For example, of the 58 aircraft at the EBACE2019 Static Display, 23 arrived at Geneva powered by sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) as part of the inaugural EBACE SAJF ‘fly-in’. This milestone built upon the launch of the Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) at last year’s EBACE, which demonstrated the industry’s support for development and adoption of the fuel. In another sign of the importance of SAJF, an industry-wide ‘Fueling the Future’ demonstration day was held at London TAG Farnborough Airport immediately before the opening of EBACE2019. It’s also clear that business aviation faces an ongoing challenge in attracting the next generation of industry professionals, which is why every NBAA-sponsored event includes a dedicated Careers in Business Aviation Day for area high school and college students who wish to learn about the industry and explore potential career opportunities. A valued platform for product introductions, other news Of course, EBACE2019 and other NBAA-sponsored industry events not only look to the industry’s future. They also highlight the most exciting and innovative aircraft, products and services available today, making these events truly ‘can’t miss’ opportunities where companies may introduce their latest offerings before an international audience. The EBACE2019 static display included several ‘firsts’ among aircraft manufacturers: Bombardier’s Global 7500 made its post-certification debut at EBACE, and Embraer displayed the new Praetor 600 aircraft for the first time since being certified in Europe, the US and Brazil. These aircraft were joined by the latest versions of such exciting aircraft as the Gulfstream G600, Airbus ACJ319 and Cirrus SF50 Vision G2. Earlier this year, ABACE2019 hosted several major aircraft announcements, including the first international appearance of Bombardier’s Global 7500 and the introduction of the new CBJ business jet from The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. Last year, NBAA-BACE featured the unveiling of Embraer’s Praetor 500 and 600 business jets, as well as the debut of an advanced electric-hybrid propulsion system for eVTOL aircraft from Honeywell. Taking place October 22-24 in Las Vegas, NV, the 2019 edition of NBAA-BACE will once again showcase an extensive array of emerging, next-generation technologies and key new product introductions, as well as presentations and discussions about the latest developments and challenges facing the industry worldwide. Widely regarded as the most important three days of business aviation, NBAA-BACE will bring together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished, all while once again displaying the innovative spirit of this forward-looking global industry. These events all serve as important opportunities to witness the next stage of business aviation’s ongoing evolution. I encourage readers of World Commerce Review to attend future editions of ABACE and EBACE, and join the estimated 25,000 industry professionals who will attend NBAA-BACE later this year, to witness firsthand the many ways our industry continues to embrace new ideas, technologies and the promise of an and exciting future.
Widely regarded as the most important three days of business aviation, NBAA-BACE will bring together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished, all while once again displaying the innovative spirit of this forward-looking global industry