The sixth annual Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE 2017) will open on April 11 at the business aviation base at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport. Showcasing the latest business-aviation products and services from around the world, ABACE has grown to become a must-attend event in China and across the Asia-Pacific region.
Organized in partnership with the Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA), and produced as a coordinated effort between the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), ABACE has attracted more than 170 exhibitors this year, with a well-balanced mix of international, regional and national brands. Organizers expect to welcome thousands of attendees over the three-day event, including industry leaders, entrepreneurs, flight department personnel and others from 40 countries (regions).
“In a number of ways, business aviation is evolving and growing in Asia, just as ABACE continues to evolve and grow as an Asian show,” said NBAA President and CEO Mr. Ed Bolen. “The industry is becoming ever-more established in this region, and, that means it will only continue to become increasingly important in China, across the Asia-Pacific and around the world.”
Mr. Lu Xun, Vice General Manager, Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre, stated in his remarks that there were 6,136 air traffic movements at the Shanghai International Airport in 2016, with an annual increase of 10% compared to 2015. Seizing the opportunity, SAA is putting a great effort in facilitating the development of the business aviation infrastructure in China, with a goal to make Shanghai a qualified outstanding Global City. The second business aviation base at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is expected to begin operation in 2018, while the Pudong Airport business aviation base project will soon be carrying out preliminary-research.
The opening general session will be attended by Mr. Jiang Huaiyu, Director General of the Eastern Regional Headquarters, Civil Aviation Authority of China; Mr. Geoff Jackson, Executive Director for the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program; Mr. Hanscom Smith, Consul General of the United States Consulate General in Shanghai; Mr. Axel Cruau, Consul General of France in Shanghai, Mr. Stephen Creamer, Director of the Air Navigation Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); Mr. Jing Yiming, President of the Shanghai Airport Authority, Mr. Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and Mr. Charlie Mularski, Chairman of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA). Mr. Wang Jijie, VP of the Shanghai Airport Authority, will be the host of the ceremony.
The continued development and expansion of China’s business aviation infrastructure will be a key theme of ABACE 2017, and the focus of a forum to be held on the event’s first day. According to the Guiding Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Promoting the Development of General Aviation Industry released by General Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China in 2016, China plans to build around 200 new general aviation airports between 2016 and 2020, bringing the nation’s total to about 500. This initiative will make trips between small cities much more convenient. Chinese authorities also expect the country to have more than 5,000 general aviation aircraft and 7,000 general aviation pilots by 2020.
Following the above guidance, the Civil Aviation Administration recently issued the Thirteen Five-Year Plan of the General Aviation Development, which indicates the country’s plan in enhancing the levelof development of the general aviation industry. The major focus is to develop short-distance transport, emergency rescue, medical, agriculture, forestry and other general aviation public services, in order to accelerate the development of commercial aviation, including consumer general flight services, and to become the basis for the socialization of general aviation.
ABACE 2017 will have more than 170 exhibitors, the largest number ever at the event, and will showcase 35 aircraft. Offering larger indoor stands and the chance for chalet exhibitors to meet with customers immediately adjacent to manufacturers’ aircraft offerings, this year's exhibition will present the most advanced aviation technology, latest aircraft and all-inclusive services.
Among the aircraft on hand for the event will be the first-ever Chinese appearance of the fast and fuel-efficient HondaJet light business jet. Other aircraft on display at ABACE 2017 range from large intercontinental business jets, to smaller turbine-powered aircraft, as well as several single- and twin-engine piston aircraft, amphibious airplanes and other models.
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