Innovation takes centre stage at AfBAC 2016
AfBAA welcomed more than 160 delegates from over 60 international and African companies, to the first ever African Business Aviation Conference held in Cape Town, November 17 – 18. The latest event in AfBAA’s growing portfolio was the largest yet, and will become an annual Cape Town fixture on the aviation conference circuit.
Innovation was the conference theme and leading by example AfBAA launched the continent’s first forum dedicated to RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) technology. Over forty delegates learned about the possibilities for RPAS use in Africa. The highlight of the forum was a presentation about ZipLine, a company using RPAS technology, in association with the Rwandan government, to deliver urgently needed medical supplies across the difficult terrain of the country.
Underpinning AfBAA’s commitment to innovation CEO Rady Fahmy used the conference as a platform to announce an expanded AfBAA collection of events. The AfBAA Regional Symposium 2017 will take place in Nigeria where West African Business Aviation will be the theme, as it runs for the first time in collaboration with the annual Nigerian Business Aviation Conference. The newly established Country Round Tables, which have already spawned the Ethiopian Chapter of AfBAA, will provide an option for specific nations to discuss the themes and topics affecting their business aviation industry as Kenya and Nigeria were announced as the next locations. Access Africa, will complement attendance at international events. Designed for companies eager to grow their business in Africa the sessions will include presentations from leading African organisations that will impart local know-how and expertise. EBACE 2017 will be the venue for Access Africa’s first outing.
Fahmy also announced that Sascha Neusser of Jeppesen will be leading a new professional development programme for flight and ground operations through AfBAA’s Safety and Training Committee. It is being formed in conjunction with the Association of African Aviation Training Organisations. In addition the Aviation Security Committee was launched with a vision to collate the best practices and resources to vet the risks of flying in Africa, and explore how they can be mitigated. Training is now available for operators flying over conflict zones and can be deemed essential on a continent where at any one time conflict, hostility or emergency situations may emerge. Supporting these new events and committees is a renewed Board of Directors* who were introduced at the AGM preceding the conference. “Brimming with experience, knowledge and energy directors from twelve international and African companies, representing a full range of business aviation sectors, will now take AfBAA to the next level,” said Tarek Ragheb, Founding Chairman of the Association.
The AfBAC conference delivered on its innovation promise with a first-of-a-kind line up of speakers covering new topics particularly pertinent to the African market. Ex-US Navy Seal Tom Rothrauff talked about how to manage landing in conflict areas and the psychological considerations; Pierre Lucas of the World Food Programme discussed operational challenges for emergency deliveries; whilst Jimmy Cho, a Boeing Digital Aviation specialist, explained how big data collected by omnipresent chips will affect the future of aviation; he also demonstrated how the Microsoft HoloLens technology may change the future of training through the use of augmented and virtual reality; whilst Investec economist Chris Becker explored how digital technology can advance African business, through the use of cryptocurrency, 3D printing and Apps.
Operators, technology suppliers, maintenance providers, engine manufacturers and regulatory bodies also spoke. Nuno Pereira CEO of Bestfly of Angola, and Segun Demuren, CEO of Nigeria’s EAN Aviation, argued that in the current African climate business grows organically, “We are growing directly in response to market demand,” said Pereira. He also encouraged competition arguing it prevents complacency. Demuren was concerned that African CAAs think about security above all else when it comes to Business Aviation, a consequence of years of conflict, “enterprise tends to come second,” he lamented, “all our achievements in Africa are in spite of the government red tape.”
Khader Mattar VP of Sales for Bombardier in Africa confirmed that market demand for aircraft has reduced from a few years ago but argues that it is up to the OEMs and jet brokers to manage the demand, in order to satisfy the needs. The OEM panel acknowledged that Africa is no longer the dumping ground for old aircraft. “The market is much more savvy and won’t just respond to new models any more,” he said highlighting the need to think smart about sales activity. “It recognizes the value of modernizing pre-owned aircraft with a good heritage. A complete overhaul and upgrade can offer an owner great value for money explained Jonathan Deutsch of JSSI. Satcom Direct’s Brian Roos stated that with the right equipment installation owners can create an office in the sky to support their business for reasonable costs.
Some new business models that may have shocked twelve months ago, such as the JetSmarter membership club concept, are also providing access through democratization of private aviation on the continent. Although cultural differences, challenging regulations, permit challenges and few operators currently make this more of an idea than a reality. Atedo Peterside of ANAP Jets is pushing the fractional ownership model with Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft based in Nigeria, but acknowledged it will take time to change the perception of business jet usage even though it is a smart way to fly. “Are we selling a dream or a business tool?” asked one delegate.
Lack of operators is preventing development of the air ambulance market argued Volker Lemke of medevac specialists FAI. Whilst regional demand exists the lack of equipped aircraft, the challenge of acquiring permits and the lack of medical experts on the continent means there is a long way to go before Africa can maximize this business opportunity. Flying over hostile zones, emergency areas and conflict areas continues to be a challenge but Stanley Joseph of Universal Weather and Aviation Inc. argued that being prepared, with good local partners, information and communications, would support operations into and out of these challenging areas.
Innovation is key in supporting the market too. Pratt and Whitney Canada made its AfBAA event debut announcing the implementation of four mobile support teams strategically located to assist clients across the continent. “If we want to flourish in Africa we have to invest in support,’ said Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam VP Commercial Services for P&WC. With 2165 engines currently operating on the continent it is this kind of support that is welcomed by the industry. “The PT6 is the backbone of Africa, and we’re delighted to hear about PWC’s further commitment to the continent,” said Tarek Ragheb, AfBAA’s Founding Chairman.
In closing the event Chair Alan Peaford said that “AfBAA is not just a talking shop about ideas, the association is beginning to make moves as reflected in this conference. We have touched on areas that haven’t been touched before. AfBAA has made great steps.”
AfBAC 2017 will be held in Cape Town in November. See www.afbaa.org for more information.
Photo Caption: Tarek Ragheb welcomes delegates to the first AfBAC event in Cape Town.
TAC Air, with 14 FBO locations across the USA, has becaom the first FBO chain to be issued with IS-BAH safety and ground handling accreditation from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). IS-BAH is a set of global industry's best practices for business aviation ground handlers.
"The International Business Aviation Council congratulates the entire TAC Air team in demonstrating such a strong commitment to building and maintaining a culture based on safety management and risk mitigation," said Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH Program Director for the IBAC.
IS-BAH accreditation involves a complete audit of an FBO's safety management systems, emergency procedures, organizational structure, administrative elements, security procedures, training protocols, and operating procedure.
"We'd rather be better than lucky," says Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP and COO. "As we continue to grow our network, it becomes increasingly important to formalize our process for continuous improvement and build upon the safety culture already in place." Sasfai adds, "We continue to make investments in building a strong customer service experience and one aspect of that is our commitment to a higher level of safety and risk management."
Certificates of registration are issued by IBAC to FBOs that have successfully demonstrated conformity to the industry's best practice standards through completion of a three-stage external audit by an IBAC accredited auditor.
APP Jet Center, which operates a network of FBOs across North America, has announced that its new $5m facility at Hayward Executive Airport in the San Francisco Bay Area, is on track for opening in December. This is a major expansion of APP’s existing operations, designed to better serve its growing client base.
The new 3,000ft² FBO building will include a pilot lounge, snooze rooms, shower facilities, concierge facilities, wi-fi and private meeting rooms. Design of the project has been handled by Niche Interiors, with a brief to aesthetically reflect the style of Silicon Valley.
A new 30,000ft² hangar has also been created, with 28ft tall doors, which will increase APP’s capacity at Hayward to 86,000ft². This includes an existing 12,000ft² hangar that has been fully renovated.
Chris Hambleton, vice president of APP Properties, said, “This is a bold achievement for APP. We are increasing our aircraft storage and client services while developing the most distinguished facility at Hayward Executive Airport. We have planned on this for many years and are very excited for our clients to share our enjoyment of this upscale, modern property.”
Tom Panico, general manager of APP Jet Center Hayward, added, “It’s an honor to offer this top-notch facility to our loyal clients and to our growing list of new clients as well.”
Ahead of the first African Business Aviation Conference, (AfBAC 2016) to be held in Cape Town 17-18 November, Rady Fahmy, Chief Executive Officer of AfBAA, has confirmed delegate registrations have topped that of any previous AfBAA event, with more than 150 delegates registered ahead of next week’s inaugural meeting. “We are delighted to see that delegates value the event enough to register in advance. We genuinely look forward to meeting them all,” said Fahmy.
Built on the success of the AfBAA Regional Symposium, AfBAC has evolved into a two-day conference that is set to welcome an impressive list of influential African business aviation executives, in addition to international attendees exploring operational opportunities on the continent. The new, annual flagship event will encourage innovation, discussion, and debate about the topics that will ensure stability of the Business Aviation sector in Africa.
In another first, a dedicated afternoon session debating the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Africa, a continent that is said to lend itself well to the opportunities presented by this rapidly developing technology, will also be conducted.
During the event Tarek Ragheb, Founding Chairman of the Association, will announce a new Board of Directors, which will have the baton of governance passed to them. They will be introduced to delegates, and have their roles and activity defined for the next there years.
As momentum builds sponsors are also confirming their involvement. Bestfly, the Angolan business aviation company has confirmed it has taken the leading sponsorship position for the first time at an AfBAA event. Nuno Pereira, Bestfly MD has supported AfBAA since launch, has been an active voice throughout the Association’s development and was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Association in September 2016. The Diamond sponsorship firmly demonstrates his commitment and belief in the potential of the Association.
“We are taking AfBAA to the next level with this event,” says Fahmy. “It has a whole host of new elements built in, aims to encourage participation from all sectors of the business aviation arena, and will highlight our achievements over the last year. It is meetings like this that underscore just how important sharing information in this emerging market is. We thank our sponsors, and particularly Nuno and his team at Bestfly, for their Diamond level commitment. Without them all this type of activity just wouldn’t be possible.”
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Photo Caption: L to R - Tarek Ragheb and Rady Fahmy look forward to AfBAA's biggest event yet. High res available on request
|AfBAA’s Flagship event aims to provide the African and the global market with a two day world-class conference nestled in Cape Town, one of Africa’s top destinations. Designed from the ground-up in response to market demand, AfBAC is squarely focused on business aviation, and its wide array of disciplines making it a unique proposition on today’s event circuit.
New EBAA Chair Plans to Highlight the Industry’s Benefits, Seek Level Playing Field
Nov. 8, 2016
European Business Aviation Association’s (EBAA) top priority in the coming years will be communicating the economic benefits of business aviation, Juergen Wiese, the recently elected EBAA chairman, said of his goals for his three-year term.
“We have done recent studies on perception and economic impact, and based on those, we will launch a long-term communication initiative,” he said. “We want to make clear to all our stakeholders that business aviation is an important segment of the European transportation system, and business aviation is leading to new opportunities, careers, economic growth and regional development.
“We also need a common communication guide for our national associations, as well as a grassroots effort to ensure a [positive] long-term effect, with educational materials that can be used at schools and in other forums to plant the seeds for the future,” Wiese added.
EBAA’s other primary focus, according to Wiese, is dealing with regulatory issues, including flight time limitations and LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) approaches, “which we want to roll out to a greater degree in Europe. In the United States they have thousands [3,722 LPV approach procedures serving 1,812 airports as of mid-September], but in Europe there are just a few hundred. We have the technology in most of our flight decks, and LPV could provide business aviation better and safer access to regional and secondary airports.”
As a non-commercial operator – Wiese has headed BMW’s flight department since 2003) – he is especially concerned about implementation of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Part-NCC rule, which took effect in August.
“Many operators haven’t yet fully understood that they have to comply with it,” he said. “This needs to be a cooperative effort together with the national aviation authorities and EASA to fight for uniform application of NCC rules throughout Europe.”
Wiese added that an important goal for business aircraft operators in Europe is to gain equal opportunity in terms of access to airspace and airports.
“Regulators need to understand that the ‘one size fits all’ rulemaking is basically over,” he said. “In business aviation we are pretty flexible, and we are well equipped to comply with performance-based regulation. The problem is, while we think we are under one legislation, national authorities still have to apply this.”
Another of Weise’s goals is to increase EBAA membership from the current 560 members by “creating more tangible value for members and the business aviation community.”
He is encouraging EBAA members to engage and even organize regional and local forums and workshops to share their experience on issues, and to proactively provide input and feedback to the association.
“I think it will help us all, not only having the strength through numbers, but also safer business aviation.”
Juergen Wiese, EBAA Chairman
BBGA gains bigger voice in Europe as innovative dual membership deal is signed with EBAA
The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), the largest national business aviation group in Europe, is to grow in stature following the joint signing today of a significant new membership-based partnership with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). Effective November 2016, all UK members of EBAA will automatically become members of BBGA. In addition, any new UK companies seeking to join Brussels-based EBAA will be invited to file their membership and pay their fees, accordingly, through their British association and enjoy the benefits of dual membership, including eligibility to exhibit at EBACE without the payment of further membership fees.
The result will see BBGA’s membership expand to 170 member companies and give the Association even greater lobbying power as it will be joined by several more AOC operators.
“Members of BBGA and EBAA will benefit from dual membership - giving them a louder voice on crucial European and UK aviation matters,” said Marc Bailey, CEO of BBGA. The administrative side will be simpler for them too, as BBGA will (from November) collect both EBAA and BBGA annual membership contributions.
“This new dual membership agreement will lead to an even greater co-operation between the EBAA and BBGA and enable us to be more visible when we represent our combined member companies when meeting with regulators, officials and politicians. The main objective is for us to speak with one voice - whether we are in the UK or the EU.” added Marc Bailey.
“We’re delighted to enter into this agreement,” says EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba. “It’s the basis for enhanced coordination between the two associations, allowing us better to represent member interests at both National and European levels, and to speak with one voice for the sector.”