Business aviation manufacturers and service providers have been seeking for many years to gain recognition and acceptance for business aviation within Asia as a flexible and convenient alternative to the airlines. Cultural differences, negative image, bureaucracy and poor infrastructure have been cited as key obstacles to business aviation growth in the region.

Strides are being made through a new pressure group, the Asian Business Aircraft Association (ABAA), which is seeking to alter attitudes and address the industry's growing concerns over access, operating costs and restrictions throughout the region.

Hong Kong-based ABAA's 20-plus members comprise companies which contribute to the operation of aircraft in the region as well as manufacturers including Cessna, Gulfstream and Raytheon. Bombardier and Dassault have yet to commit to the association.

Last month ABAA established its by-laws, working practices and elected its board members. ABAA president and managing director of Hong Kong business aviation service provider Metrojet, Mark Turner says: "The association is at an embryonic stage and we shall strive to establish our legitimacy over the coming months."

Source: Flight International