Aviation Special: Business aviation conference takes off in Shanghai
Updated: 2013-04-16 07:58
By Li Fusheng (China Daily)
A staff worker at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition records data about a private jet on show at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Wang Tian / for China Daily
A leading Asian business aviation show takes off in Shanghai on Tuesday, attracting a big number of companies showing their latest products at Hongqiao International Airport.
The Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition 2013 hosts at least 170 exhibitors that include aircraft manufacturers, charter and support companies, ground handling operators and providers of regional aircraft services, said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association headquartered in Washington DC.
A partnership between the NBAA and Shanghai Airport Authority, the annual event runs through April 18, showcasing more than 30 aircraft "from relatively small, single-engine turboprop aircraft and rotorcraft up through large intercontinental business jets", Bolen said.
Included in the lineup is the G650 from Gulfstream Aerospace, the company's largest and fastest model. It can carry eight passengers and the crew of four nonstop for almost 13,000 kilometers at a top speed of Mach 0.925, according to the manufacturer's website.
In addition to its largest-ever fleet, the event is expected to draw more than 4,000 visitors this year through new amenities.
"It features 13 chalets adjacent to the aircraft static display," said Bolen. "The climate-controlled facilities are close to the exhibited aircraft, providing a comfortable environment for participants to discuss their needs with company representatives just steps away from actual aircraft."
An education session is available for visitors "no matter if they've used business aviation for months or years, or are merely exploring their options for operating a business aircraft to optimize the efficiency, productivity, and growth of their companies", Bolen added.
Co-hosted by the NBAA, the Asian Business Aviation Association and the Shanghai Exhibition Co, the event serves as not only a premiere marketplace for connecting buyers and sellers in China, but also as a catalyst for the industry's development across Asia, said its website.
It also serves as a venue to continue the dialog between regulatory authorities and business leaders in the region about the benefits of business aviation.
International Civil Aviation Organization Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the event, a move that "emphasizes the importance of China, India and other Asia-Pacific countries to the global economy and aviation community", said Bolen.
Another official who will speak at the opening session is US Ambassador to China Gary Locke.
"The presence of these key officials further signifies the outstanding level of international support for growth of business aviation in the region," said Rob Finfrock, a US freelance aviation reporter.
NBAA was one of the first groups to recognize the region's potential for business aviation. It hosted the first Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in 2004.
"The ABACE isn't merely a trade show - it's also an opportunity to help build the industry and to engage the Chinese government in the expansion of business aviation in the region," said Kathleen Blouin, NBAA's senior vice-president for conventions and forums.
Other exhibition partners include the Business Aviation Council, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Flight Safety Foundation.
(China Daily 04/16/2013 page14)