2011 Press Releases

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2011 European Business Aviation Awards Presented to Industry Champions Peter Lonergan, Richard Gaona

Contacts: 
Dan Hubbard, NBAA, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]
Romain Martin, EBAA, +32 2 766 00 73, 
[email protected]

Geneva, Switzerland, May 17, 2011 –The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that former Biggin Hill Airport Director Peter Lonergan and Comlux Aviation Group President Richard Ganoa are the recipients of the 2011 European Business Aviation Awards.

The awards were presented during the opening day of the 11th Annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2011), the only European exhibition focusing solely on business aviation.

This year's award recipients have both championed business aviation for decades.

During his tenure as Biggin Hill Airport director from 1994 until this year, Peter Lonergan turned the facility, which was once scheduled for closure, into a thriving general aviation airport. Under his stewardship, a new runway with an apron was added, new hangars have continually been constructed, and the staff has swelled from 36 in 1994 to more than 100 today. He now plans to represent EBAA and its Members as the business aviation representative at the European Aviation Safety Agency's Rulemaking Group on Requirements for Aerodrome Operations.

Rodolfo Baviera, EBAA chairman, commended Lonergan as "a true asset and champion for the industry." "Peter has been an integral part of the business aviation community for many years, and we are delighted to present him with this well-deserved award," Baviera said.

Award recipient Richard Gaona has also had a distinguished career and record of service to business aviation. His more than 25 years with Airbus included his work on the launch of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. During his eight years leading that program, more than 120 of the aircraft were sold. As president of the Comlux Aviation Group, he has expanded the company's service offerings, opened new facilities across the globe and more than tripled the number of aircraft the company owns and operates. He was a founding member of the Middle East Business Aviation Association. 

After Gaona had been presented his award, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said: "I had the pleasure of meeting Richard recently, and I can attest to his charisma, his business smarts, and his heartfelt enthusiasm for the advancement of business aviation all around the world. Clearly, the traits I saw in him during our visit have been key to his successful career in business aviation."

The annual European Business Aviation Awards have been given since the inception of EBACE in 2001. Past recipients are as follows (titles and affiliations shown were current at time of award presentation): 

  • Elie Zelouf, senior vice president of Jet Aviation, and officials at Aéroports de Paris (2010) 
  • Marwan Khalek, CEO and co-founder of Gama Aviation Limited, and Lyon-Bron Business Airport (2009)
  • Mark Booth, chairman and CEO of NetJets Europe (2008)
  • Judith Moreton, Bombardier Skyjet International, and Mark Wilson, British Business and General Aviation Association (2007)
  • Geneva PALEXPO and Flight Safety International (2006)
  • TAG Aviation and Cannes/Mandelieu Airport (2005)
  • Jean-Francois Georges, Dassault Aviation, and Fernand Francois, European Business Aviation Association (2004)
  • Ahid Quntar, Royal Wings/Arab Wings, and Andrew Walters, Regional Airports Ltd. (2003)
  • Richard Gooding, London City Airport, and Jean-Pierre Jobin, Geneva International Airport (2002)
  • Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, LEGO, and Frederik Sørensen, Head of Unit, European Commission (2001)

Learn more about EBACE2011, being held this week from May 17 to 19 in Geneva, at www.ebace.aero.

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About NBAA:
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via e-mail. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release e-mail list, submit the online form at www.nbaa.org/news/pr/subscribe.

About EBAA:
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) was founded in 1977 to defend the interests of business aviation. Today, more than 500 business aviation companies (direct members or members of associate organizations) rely on the EBAA to protect their business interests. It is the only voice to represent business aviation among the European institutions. For more information, visit www.ebaa.org.