ABACE2015 Is Best Yet

April 17, 2015

Following the April 16 conclusion of the 2015 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE2015), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today said the event was the strongest edition of the show in its 10-year history.

“This was a big and exciting week,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “ABACE once again put China at center stage of the Asian and global business aviation community, and as we celebrated the show’s 10th year, it is clear that a high-water mark has been reached, not only for ABACE, but for business aviation in China and across Asia.”

ABACE2015 Is Best Yet

Bolen cited several examples to illustrate his point.

ABACE2015 featured 38 aircraft on static display, a number on par with the aircraft on display last year, and more than triple the aircraft at the first ABACE in 2005. Today, the display incorporates the full spectrum of business aircraft, from pistons through intercontinental jets, as well as helicopters.

ABACE2015 featured 183 exhibitors, covering the largest footprint in the history of ABACE, and representing a five-fold increase over the 30 exhibitors at the first edition of ABACE.

Significantly, at this year’s show, more than 40 percent of the exhibitors were based in Asia – the highest percentage of Asian companies exhibiting at ABACE to date – meaning that ABACE has evolved into a truly international show with strong Asian characteristics.

As one of the premier business aviation events in the world, ABACE today attracts attendees not just from China, but from more than 40 other countries across Asia and beyond.

Bolen also noted that from its start, ABACE has served not only as a world-leading business aviation event, but also as an important venue for bringing together government leaders who can help foster the industry’s continued growth. That was in evidence this week, with the strongest participation yet from government officials – for example:

Top national and international officials served as keynote speakers for the ABACE2015 Opening General Session. Attendees at the session heard from Wang Zhiqing, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Susan Kurland, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the Department of Transportation (DOT), and Li Durun, chairman of the Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA).

The CAAC’s Wang and DOT’s Kurland also joined Jiang Huayu, CAAC East bureau director, as participants in an airports conference hosted by the CAAC in conjunction with ABACE. The event, which NBAA helped organize, included airport and government officials from China, as well as representatives from airports outside the region, such as TAG London Farnborough Airport in the U.K., and Centennial Airport in the U.S. The conference drew more than 300 attendees.

ABACE2015 also featured a China Business Aviation Development Symposium, held on the event’s opening day, which included CAAC
officials, as well as two top diplomats: The Honorable Max Baucus, the U.S. ambassador to The People’s Republic of China, and The Honorable Guy Saint-Jaques, the Canadian ambassador to The People’s Republic of China.

Bolen added that the educational content provided at the show – which included both a regional and global focus – proved as valuable as ever. For example:

The ABACE2015 Safety Workshop had an increase in attendance over last year’s session, with dozens of attendees hearing perspectives from operators in the region, who highlighted the value of safety management and safety culture. Attendees also heard from experts with information about global issues, including international safety standards, safety risk areas and best practices for building a safety culture.

A day-long series of education sessions focused on topics of particular relevance to rotorcraft operations. The sessions, produced in recognition of the growing role of helicopters throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region, were held in partnership between the ABACE2015 organizers and the Helicopter Association International.

An extensive roster of additional education sessions provided valuable information for those who have long-used business aircraft for helping their companies succeed, and also for those who may be considering the use of aviation to support their business objectives.

The 2015 edition of ABACE concluded with a Career Day focused on educating students from several area colleges about careers in business aviation. While such student-focused days have been a part of every ABACE since 2012, this one was the largest yet, with participation from more than 159 students. The event, which was jointly organized by NBAA and the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), included an opening presentation, dedicated sessions for the students and a tour of the ABACE2015 static display of aircraft.

According to the Shanghai Airport Authority, to ensure the smooth operations of the civil airport and the exhibition simultaneously, airport officials closely collaborated with show organizers on improving and implementing security and emergency evacuation plans.

Under close coordination among the parties involved in producing ABACE, the move-in period this year was reduced from the original 26 days to 20, optimizing the efficiency of the setup and minimizing the show’s impact on regular flight operations.

Additionally, through measures taken to monitor and count the issuance of visitor badges, and smooth the crowd flow based on dates and time slots, this year’s exhibition was able to offer a better visiting experience and avoid concentration.

The SAA also made multiple levels of emergency evacuation plans, and conducted real-time monitoring and radio broadcasting in preparation for the event.

“By any measure, ABACE2015 was the best one yet, and it is clear that business aviation has not only become established in the region, but is flourishing,” Bolen said. “Exhibitors and attendees report that the show was a highly successful and valuable event, and the collaboration among the show organizers is as strong as ever. We thank everyone who participated in ABACE, and we look forward to returning to Shanghai next year.”

ABACE is jointly hosted each year by NBAA and the SAA, in coordination with AsBAA. ABACE2016 will take place from April 12 to 14, 2016.