First AfBAA symposium brings together leading figures from African Aviation.

Tuesday 10th September 2013

Preparations for the first AfBAA regional symposium, which will take place on 26th and 27th September 2013, at La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco, are well under way as the speaker line up is close to being finalised. The Chairman has been confirmed as Alan Peaford, who in his role as editor of African Aerospace, Arabian Aerospace and Advance, combined with his extensive familiarity with the aviation sector, will bring a depth and knowledge to ignite debate and discussion around the key themes and topics.

The keynote address will be made by H.M. the King's Representative for the Ministry of Transportation for Morocco who will present the importance of Morocco's role as a hub for Aviation, and the country's increased focus on Business Aviation activity. AfBAA Chairman Tarek Ragheb will follow with an AfBAA welcome address outlining the theme of the conference which will aim to promote the understanding and benefits that Business Aviation provides for Africa's economic and social development. A further highlight of the first day will be a presentation from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which will speak about what African operators should expect from the soon to be implemented Third Country Operator (TCO) rules. The new regulations have been designed to establish a single European system for the safety authorisation of these operators. Once implemented, the TCO rules will replace the various national systems existing today in a framework of agreements between EU Member States and third countries.

Uniquely the panels, which feature a stellar line up of speakers, are made up of over 25 leading industry figures from Africa and around the world making the symposium one of the largest in Africa this year in terms of speakers.  The seven sessions will cover a wide range of topics adhering to the overall conference theme. The Operators panel features Bestfly, Morocco's own Dalia Air, Elit'Avia, ExecuJet, Toucan Aviation, and Via Aviation, all of whom are currently operating in Africa, and will discuss the challenges of working across the continent. A group of Safety and International Standards representatives will debate issues that are unique to Africa, and Legal and Regulatory Environment experts will discuss how improvements can be made to existing frameworks. The Finance and Ownership panel will explore the challenges related to financing in Africa, and how this is changing. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) panel is likely to stimulate interest as each discusses how they are investing in Africa to ensure the long term sustainability of a business aviation economy. With representatives from Airbus, Beechcraft, Bombardier, Embraer, and Gulfstream all confirmed, there is no doubt this will be an exciting session.

International trip support company UAS has confirmed their position as Platinum sponsor for the event. With local offices in even the most remote parts of Africa UAS has been dedicated to offering complex trip support services since launching in 2000 and considers Africa an important developing market, which supports the rationale behind the sponsorship. "We're thrilled to have such a well-respected company as our main sponsor," said Tarek Ragheb, Chairman and Founder of AfBAA about the arrangement. "When companies like this show their backing for the event it really adds credibility and demonstrates that African Business Aviation is now an important player in the global sector." Other sponsors include financial institutions Guggenheim and CIT, flight operations service Nexus and the Registry of Aruba.  Aviation communications provider Satcom Direct is currently exploring investment options to maintain their equipment in the African region and will be the media sponsor.

With over 100 aviation delegates expected to attend, the AfBAA symposium will also be encouraging networking during the coffee, tea, lunch breaks. Tarek Ragheb, Chairman of the 25th AfBAA Association will be sponsoring the Chairman's lunch, whilst the AfBAA association will sponsor a cocktail reception at La Mamounia hotel on the eve of the symposium. Local business aviation company Dalia Air will sponsor the gala dinner which will be held at spectacular Chez Ali in Marrakech.

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