EBACE 2022 reflected the industry’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, inclusion and excellence, stated the organisers
Over two years and multiple waves after the pandemic struck world, while some things have changed forever, some have modified while some other things are finding their way back to the pre-COVID 19 scenarios. Global gatherings for business conventions and exhibitions are one such reality of the aviation world that is finding ground again. After a pause of two years, one of the biggest business aviation events, the 2022 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE 2022) concluded on May 25, 2022 on an optimistic note for the industry. “EBACE 2022 has been lightening in a bottle, bringing people from across the world together to see, touch and feel the future of business aviation,” said European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan. It ensured that further developments in sustainability, new technologies and evolving regulations will reshape the industry, and gave a glimpse of what business aviation could look like in years to come. The show was co-hosted by EBAA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
“This entire week at EBACE was a celebration of business aviation – of the inspiring people, bold ideas, emerging technologies and new markets propelling us forward. With every new product launched and the visionary thought leadership explored on our speaker stages, the show opened hearts and fired imaginations. EBACE 2022 made clear: This is our time,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
Innovation was wall-to-wall across the exhibit floor, with a host of new product introductions and announcements. An expanded New Exhibitor Pavilion showcased many of the companies exhibiting at EBACE for the first time. A dazzling lineup of electric and advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft was arrayed at the show floor’s Innovation Pavilion, matched by a packed Newsmakers Luncheon featuring the leaders of AAM pioneers Volocopter, Lilium, FACC and Vertical Aerospace. An all-new Newsmakers Breakfast on Tuesday gave three aviation journalists the stage with entrepreneurs heading electric airplane ventures Eviation and VoltAero.
The inaugural EBACE Business Aviation Sustainability Summit showcased the game-changing technologies and business models the industry is developing to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Kicking off with a Newsmakers Luncheon featuring the industry innovators advancing hydrogen-powered aircraft, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), high-performance batteries and emissions offsetting, the summit also featured the launch of the Forever Flight Alliance to de-carbonise Aviation, supported by the Lindbergh Foundation, X-Prize Foundation, NBAA and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
The sustainability summit also featured the launch of S.T.A.R.S., the Standards and Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability programme, sponsored by EBAA and the International Business Aviation Council and conceived at EBACE2019 by young professionals from half a dozen European countries. This initiative goes beyond emissions reduction to include best practices for workplace diversity, gender equality and inclusion. In another milestone, aircraft exhibited at EBACE 2022 departed the show fueled with SAF, thanks to a partnership with Geneva Airport, Jet Aviation and TotalEnergies. Available for the first time for EBACE outbound flights, SAF has the potential to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions as much as 80 per cent, compared to fossil fuels. Sustainability was also in view with a new Exhibitor Green Pledge for EBACE, and an inaugural carbon-offset program for the show, sponsored by Rolls-Royce and 4AIR.
Eagerly anticipated new aircraft were either unveiled or made their EBACE premiere. Attendees had the opportunity to see and climb aboard the new Bombardier 7500, Dassault Falcon 6X, Gulfstream 700 and Tecnam P2012. EBACE 2022 also became the place for the worldwide announcement of Bombardier’s Global 8000, which is claimed to be the world’s fastest and longest-range business jet.
There were about 50 aircraft on display at EBACE, ranging from the most advanced business aircraft, from high-tech small aircraft through ultra-modern intercontinental jets. The outdoor aircraft display at Geneva Airport, adjacent to the Palexpo, the convention site, also featured the latest offerings from Airbus, Embraer, Honda Aircraft Company, Pilatus, Textron Aviation and more.
Next year EBACE plans to return to Palexpo and Geneva Airport from 23-25 May 2023.
BIZAV OPERATIONS HAMPERED BY UKRAINE WAR, EBAA HELPS MEMBERS MANAGE SANCTIONS
The Russia-Ukraine war has reached every corner of the world in some form or another. It has impacted industries too and the conventions addressed the same. “Russia’s war in Ukraine has hurt the aviation sector, not only in Ukraine proper, but for operators that previously did business in Russia or customarily flew over the country. Separately, economic sanctions imposed on Russia have resulted not only in a direct loss of business, but a spate of challenges related to aircraft with any ties to Russia.”
In addition to Ukraine itself, where civil air traffic has ceased, “Effectively the whole of Russia is no-go,” Steven Moore, head of air traffic management network operations at Eurocontrol, said at EBACE 2022 session on the operational consequences of the war. Commercial aviation flights that used to travel over Russian airspace have had to add hours to their routes. Poland’s air traffic fell by 38 per cent from February to March, Moore said, largely because of increased military operations as multiple groups funnel aid to Ukraine through Poland.
EBACE 2022 ALSO BECAME THE PLACE FOR THE WORLDWIDE ANNOUNCEMENT OF BOMBARDIER’S GLOBAL L8000, WHICH IS CLAIMED TO BE THE WORLD’S FASTEST AND LONGEST-RANGE BUSINESS JET
Looking ahead, “Summer 2022 is going to be difficult for all operators,” he said. Moore urged business aircraft operators to file their fight plans early and not to deviate. “We really ask pilots to fly what they file.”
EBAA is trying to get the concerns of business aviation recognised under the differing sanctions schemes imposed by EU countries, said association COO Robert Baltus.
A particular problem is how to best deal with Russia-associated aircraft that have been removed from that country and grounded, Baltus said. Such aircraft can’t be maintained, which includes proper cleaning and parking, a situation with safety, health and environmental consequences. Fortunately, Baltus said, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency is helping EBAA answer sanctions-related questions.
Not only have operations been impacted, but airports have been damaged, said Samer Mansour, Managing Director of Dubai-based Click Aviation. “Multiple civil airports were targeted by the Russian armed forces as a way of isolating Ukraine from humanitarian support,” he said.
Click has 121 employees in Ukraine, Mansour said. Approximately 30 were able to relocate to EU countries, just shy of 60 went to western Ukraine and upwards of 20 are unable to work as they remain in bomb shelters in Ukraine. “We are paying full salaries to all employees,” he said, while much of their workload has been taken over by Click facilities in Dubai, Shanghai and Miami, FL.