Representatives of six regional business aviation associations met Tuesday afternoon at the NBAA Convention to report on activity in their areas.

Europe and Canada reported signs of recovery, while the other, less mature associations in the Middle East, Asia, Russia and Japan principally delivered progress reports on their respective struggles to improve the profile and flexibility of business aviation and to overcome what remains in all cases high levels of bureaucracy.

Sam Barone for the Canadian Business Aviation Association says that the sector has survived the global downturn better than most because of the robustness of Canada's mining and oil businesses, which are big business-aviation users.

Brian Humphries reported that the European Business Aviation Association has, for several months, been showing consistent 6% growth figures against 2009 using month-on-month comparisons, but activity is still down on that for the 2006-2008 period, with the severe competition in the field meaning that yields have been taking a hammering. Meanwhile, he reports that, in the long battle to get the European Commission to adopt a more rational approach to its proposals for emissions trading for the sector does appear to be bearing fruit for the long term, and the European Aviation Safety Agency has been sufficiently impressed by the EBAA's efforts to design a fatigue risk management system for business aviation that it has pushed back the deadline date for the implementation of a business aviation flight time limitations regime until 2012 to allow more time to tailor an appropriate system.

For the Russian Business Aviation Association, Leonid Loshelev admitted that operating business flights into Russia today is "something you only do if there is no alternative" because of the obstructive bureaucracy and long approval lead times, but this might change. Next year all that corporate and private flights will have to do is file a flight plan, and if it's approved, they can go. But chartered flights will still need to file for approval up to seven days in advance.

Karan Singh for the Business Aviation Association for India reports high growth rates, if from a low base, but prospects for the future are hampered by inadequate infrastructure, zero fixed-base operators, and stifling bureaucracy at all points.

For the Middle East Business Aviation Association Ali al Naqbi said bureaucracy and a gray market in business aviation operations are a worry, but the organization is working on improving awareness of the need for a better regulatory environment.

Finally, Japanese business aviation still remains a very small sector in a large economy, and its enemies are lack of airport space and a low level of awareness of what business aviation could do.

Source: Flight Daily News