“It’s good to be back. This is going be an EBACE to remember.” With these words, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed industry and media back to Geneva after a three-year hiatus. His remarks were made yesterday during a media lunch sponsored by Embraer. Also taking the stage was EBAA secretary-general Athar Husain Khan—NBAA and EBAA jointly organize EBACE—and a panel of industry big-hitters: Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO Michael Amalfitano, Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter, and Jet Aviation president David Paddock.
During the panel discussion that followed, the experts talked of future developments such as hybrid, electric, and hydrogen power, and the methods of operation in what Amalfitano describes as the “new ecosystem of air travel.” Sustainability is another hot topic and one embraced by the business aviation community. For years, remarked Bolen, the industry needed to be safe and perceived as such. “Now we need to be sustainable, as well as perceived to be sustainable.”
However, all speakers agreed that perhaps the biggest immediate challenge is attracting sufficient and new talent into the industry—a challenge starkly exposed by the effects of the pandemic. How to engender a new passion to work in the business is regarded as a major and immediate issue for future recruitment of high-caliber, motivated individuals with the need to invest more at school and college level to foster interest among young people.
Society-wide inclusion is another factor that is being addressed slowly in the industry but needs to be accelerated to create a sector that is open to all and representative of the population.