August 26, 2013

The Latin American region continues to experience an economic shift away from traditionally dominant markets and toward previously underdeveloped areas such as Argentina and Venezuela – that was the clear takeaway from a business aviation event recently held in São Paulo, Brazil.

“Although overall expansion of Brazil’s gross domestic product has slowed, the country is still solidly among the other emerging ‘BRIC’ nations [an acronym that includes Brazil, Russia, India and China] and is still very much a growth engine in the global economy,” said NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown, who represented the Association at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, which took place from August 14 to 16. “The region’s need for business aviation will remain strong, driven not only by increasing demand but also by the need for fleet replacement in the coming years.”

Brown’s assessment is backed up by available data: according to business aviation market research firm AMSTAT, the Latin American business jet fleet grew 6 percent in 2012, driven by increases throughout all fleet types.

“That acknowledgment was probably the most notable aspect from this year’s show,” “While the region may never be as comparatively unhindered as North America, it’s good to see that the differences [among countries in the region] have been identified, and that officials are working on those challenges,” said aviation industry analyst Brian Foley.

“The largest priority for business aviation in Brazil remains the need to streamline the regulatory infrastructure, in line with other areas of the world, including North America and Europe, in order to support safety without imposing excessive costs,” Brown added. “That challenge exists in nearly every country worldwide.”