Thursday 9th March 2017
A bolstered British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) meets for its annual meeting at a new Luton Hoo Hotel venue today. Membership has been strengthened, especially with more operator members, following the recent partnership with EBAA, whereby all UK members of the latter automatically become members of BBGA. This has seen a boost in membership from 122 to over 170 companies.
Some 120 plus of them will be in Luton to listen to the theme 'Embracing Change Together.' Topics due to be covered include Brexit; the desire to continue with EASA regulations and to embrace 'Single European Skies'; and securing the concept of 'Assured Clients' and 'Approved Organisations' with the Home Office, DfT and CAA to enable transparent, safe and efficient transfer of repeat business into the UK.
Following a welcome address from BBGA Chairman, Marwan Khalek, delegates can look forward to presentations from a range of industry influencers, including Martin Rolfe, CEO of NATS; Chris Leach, CEO of Air Charter Service who will reflect on his long and glittering career in charter broking and how the industry has evolved with the general diversification/consolidation in the industry. Delegates can also look forward to presentations from Brian Humphries, President of EBAA; and discussing Brexit , Sir Gerald Howarth MP, together with the UK CAA's Andrew Haines and Clyde and Co's Mark Bisset.
With the emergence of new business models, airline hybrids, a robust MRO and aviation services market (as operators hold on to older aircraft for longer) versus industry concerns over a shortage of pilots and licensed engineers, lack of access and threatened small airport closures, Alex Berry will chair a session on future trends later in the afternoon. Joining him are Carol Cork, Privatefly, Surf Air CEO Simon Talling-Smith; Oriens Aviation CEO and SETops proponent Edwin Brenninkmeyer. Richard Mintern, Chairman of JMC Group and ELMS Aviation joins to bring a different perspective to the session drawing on his decades of experience in airline engineering and latterly the commercial helicopter industry.
A significant part of the day will be the 'Visions and Values' presentation led by Sewells, a company with significant experience in reviewing change programmes for corporate businesses and associations. It has been engaged by BBGA as an independent to do a top to bottom review of the Association and what it stands for, engaging with members and non members as it seeks to address what can our association do for you.
With the uncertainty over Brexit, the BBGA has decided there is no better time to evaluate what it's doing for its members, and is therefore currently part way through a process of deciding exactly how the association should focus its resources to offer the best service possible.
Sewells has already overseen initial consultation inside and outside BBGA's membership through a gathering in January 2017, attended by over 40 industry decision makers in business and general aviation. The association is now working through a schedule with the guiding coalition - made up of 15 volunteers from the aforementioned forty attendees - to establish the BBGA's mission, vision, values and objectives. The 'Visions and Values' session at the BBGA annual meeting will continue to try and ascertain the needs and preferences of its members.
CEO of BBGA, Marc Bailey, commented: "We are the biggest national association and have an important part to play looking after our membership. The partnership with EBAA is very strategic and we are working hard with them and other European industry bodies to ensure strong national associations where we can work together with a joint strategy and act with one voice. With this in mind, it seemed like the perfect timing to formally assess how we can best use our growing position of influence to keep the UK business aviation thriving.
We therefore look forward to hearing the opinions from more of our members at our annual meeting."
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