Organizers EBAA and NBAA have lined up Zara Rutherford—the youngest woman to attempt to fly solo around the world—as a keynote speaker at EBACE 2022. They announced the keynote last week as NBAA-BACE was being held in person for the first time in two years.
EBACE 2022 is scheduled for May 23to 25 at its traditional home in the Palexpo Center next to Geneva International Airport in Switzerland. The associations have said they plan for the event to have a “strong focus” on sustainability, innovation, safety, and networking.
Rutherford, who is 19, is attempting to become the youngest person to fly around the world in a microlight aircraft as part of an overarching effort to promote aviation and STEM careers for girls and young women.
Flying in a Shark UL high-performance ultralight modified for the circumnavigation voyage, she kicked off the trip on August 18 at International Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in Belgium. She headed west and reached Alaska by late September after flying over the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the contiguous U.S., Caribbean, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Plans call for her to continue on to Russia, Korea, Indonesia, India, and the Middle East before arriving back in Belgium in early December. In all, her itinerary has her crossing 52 countries and five continents.
“I am incredibly delighted Ms. Rutherford is joining us at EBACE 2022," said EBAA chairman Juergen Wiese. "Her world circumnavigation flight serves as a motivation for young people, and especially young women, to join the ranks in aerospace education. She is a role model and stirs excitement for the future of aviation. This is what EBACE is all about.”
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen agreed, adding, “Zara Rutherford is showing us the future of aviation and inspiring us all along the way. We look forward to hearing and learning from a real aviation trailblazer.”