Business aviation contributed €19.7 billion ($26.9 billion) in gross valued added to the European economy in 2007, according to research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Yael Selfin, a senior economist at the consultancy, spoke of the sector's "significant impact" on the economy when she addressed EBACE 2009's opening general session, ahead of the ribbon cutting that officially opened the event.

The PwC study assessed not just the direct impact in output terms, but the impacts of the supply chain and of the spending of wages and profits generated by the sector.

The 2007 contribution of €19.7 billion equated to 0.2% of the combined GDP of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. It breaks down as follows: 28% (or €5.6 billion) is direct impact, 24% (€4.8 billion) is indirect and €9.3 billion (48%) is induced.

Yael Selfin - PwC
 © Billypix

PwC estimates that business aviation generates 167,000 jobs in Europe.

Earlier in the session, EBAA president and chief executive Brian Humphries said that this year's event was on course to be the third biggest EBACE yet, with registrations having topped 9,500 this morning. He declared himself "satisfied" with the event's performance "with the market the way it is".

NBAA president and chief executive Ed Bolen promised to make the case for business aviation when he addresses Senate hearings on FAA reauthorisation in Washington DC tomorrow.

The European Commission's director of air transport Daniel Calleja promised to work with the business aviation sector to find a workable monitoring system ahead of the emissions trading scheme's implementation,while Eurocontrol's director general David McMillan emphasised the needs to keep bureaucracyto a minimum and protect access to airspace, and characterised business aviation as "a tool for wealth generation".

Source: Flight Daily News