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EBACE 2024

EBACE2024 opening keynote extolls business aviation’s net-zero future



Collaboration, innovation, sustainable technologies and emission-free flight dominated the opening keynote session at the 2024 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2024).

In his welcome remarks, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen underscored the importance of bringing industry leaders together. “EBACE is the place to be to talk about the big issues and challenges and opportunities that our industry has,” Bolen said. “As we bring every segment of the community together from all over the world, we’re going to have an opportunity to help shape the future of flight.”

EBACE2024 Opening Keynote (L to R): Ed Bolen, NBAA; Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Foundation; Delphine Bachmann, State of Geneva; John Santurbano, EUROCONTROL; Holger Krahmer, EBAA.

Opening Keynote (L to R): Ed Bolen, NBAA; Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Foundation; Delphine Bachmann, State of Geneva; John Santurbano, EUROCONTROL; Holger Krahmer, EBAA | All photos courtesy of EBACE.

Bolen then introduced EBAA’s new Secretary-General, Holger Krahmer, who began his new leadership position five months ago after a decade of serving in European Parliament.

“Safeguarding a competitive and fair European single market for business aviation operators is essential,” Krahmer said. “There is hope for a more business friendly environment, but we must remain vigilant. Our role in business aviation is more crucial than ever before.”

Delphine BachmannKrahmer also took a moment to highlight EBAA’s new membership in the industry’s CLIMBING. FAST. advocacy campaign, which is aimed at showcasing business aviation’s commitment to economic opportunity, sustainability and innovation, as well as achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “At EBACE, we’re spearheading a surge of aviation and carbon-free flight.”

Political Partnerships

To underscore the importance of political partnerships, Krahmer introduced Delphine Bachmann, state councillor in charge of the Department of Economy and Labour, State of Geneva. “This event is a unique opportunity to strengthen collaboration between all the members of the value chain of the industry - players that experience and explore new opportunities,” Bachmann said.

Working With ATC to Reduce Emissions

John SanturbanoJohn Santurbano, director of the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, EUROCONTROL - and an important partner in the business aviation sector – discussed the importance of maintaining safe air traffic management within a complex airspace and how ATC innovations are resulting in reduced aircraft emissions.

“In the future we should not ask if we will fly, but how we will fly,” Santurbano said. “That’s why we should adapt and reach carbon-free goals for 2050.” He spoke about vertical flight efficiency as a method for reducing carbon emissions and efforts to mitigate emissions from aircraft contrails.

Overall, with a bit of tongue in cheek, Santurbano said meeting the challenges of the future will be easy. “You just need to cooperate, to innovate, to put in a lot of money, to have the right people, have the right regulation, to have the trust and the courage.”

Aviation Explorer: ‘We Have to Change’

Bertrand PiccardBertrand Piccard - aviator, explorer, psychiatrist and environmentalist - delivered inspiring and thoughtful remarks that put into stark perspective how the history of human flight and innovation still offers valuable lessons in today’s world.

Piccard was the first balloonist to circumnavigate the globe nonstop and the first pilot to fly around the world without using a drop of liquid fuel in the Solar Impulse airplane.

“The future is uncertain and unpredictable. Nothing is impossible and sometimes we have to invent new ways to do it,” Piccard said. He connected exploration and innovation with solving the aviation industry’s challenges to find ways to reduce carbon emissions and to replace fossil fuels with alternatives.

“We have to care for the climate. We have to care for pollution,” Piccard said. The industry must “be completely open” to all options to find the best way forward. “We have to envisage everything and then we decide which path to take.”

He called on the industry to “see what new technologies we can find that will help us be ecological and economical and profitable at the same time,” adding that his Solar Impulse Foundation is working to find processes that can accomplish this “seemingly impossible” goal.

Piccard also revealed details about a new zero-emission aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen. If all goes as planned, Piccard aims to use this new airplane to circle the earth again in 2028.

For Piccard, the aircraft represents more than a step forward in technology. It also is meant to send a message.

“This plane is about showing that activism against aviation is the wrong way,” Piccard said. “We need to show what can be done, even if people think it is impossible. Today the dream has to be to fly cleaner. The next pioneers of aviation will be the ones who show the way.”

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EBACE 2024


BlueSky Business Aviation News | 30th May 2024 | Issue #750


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