Dr. Fang Liu, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), has accepted an invitation to serve as a keynote speaker for the 2016 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE2016), April 12 in Shanghai, China. This is more than a international executive getting an invitation to return to her company; it is a tremendous opportunity for business aviation to educate ICAO’s leader about their sector global contributions.
ABACE is an annual convocation of 8,500 leaders of Asian business operators, manufacturers, airports/FBOs, service providers, aviation government leaders from around the world and collateral interests. The 2016 event will be held in Shanghai, China April 12-13, 2016. It is a parallel meeting to EBACE in Europe and NBAA’s Business and Aviation Conference.
The Shanghai event has had as many as 40 aircraft on display plus booths from major manufacturers. The exhibitors number above 200. The exhibition is an impressive show of the breadth of products, services and technologies which make BA a vibrant aviation segment. Further EBACE provides advanced education for the BA customers about flight skills, use of systems, the importance of safety and international operations. The presenters include commercial experts in these fields, CAA regulators, consultants and others.
China is somewhat different from other similar Conferences. The home country is one of the topics of interest at ABACE. BA is considered critical to the economic development of the world’s largest national and mass; so topics like where airports will be built; how the government plans to manage air traffic and business opportunities within its borders have been discussed.
These are matters likely unknown to Dr. Liu. Before she worked at ICAO, her experience was within the PRC government dealing with posts in international affairs for the CAAC. Once in Montreal, she focused on security. Her exposure to business aviation has been minimal. A walk through the aircraft display, a tour of the exhibits, meeting some of the leaders of this industry and hearing about the technical classes should bring her to a “graduate level” of knowledge about BA.
ICAO is an influential aviation policy organization. Countries, OEMs and airlines frequent the corridors there, attempting to explain their positions on the issues which the UN body considers. International safety standards, uniform AT rules and environmental issues are constantly being discussed there.
The International Business Aviation Council represents the interests of BA there. IBAC also formulates and administers program like IS-BAO. To make sure that ICAO understands the unique characteristics of their members, Michael W. Hohm is IBAC’s Director of ICAO Liaison. His 2016 agenda probably includes close attention to the formulation of CO2 standards—a huge matter to BA.
When Dr. Liu returns to Montreal, she will be far more knowledgeable about business aviation—its contribution to the global economy, its safety competence, its value to China’s future development and their portfolio of issues.
This is a good trip for ICAO’s Secretary General and for NBAA/ABACE/IBAC.