July 6, 2015

Listen to an NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on plans to grow the Asian Business Aviation Association.

Charles Mularski plans to build on a strong foundation of trust with members, and a growing sense of cooperation with regulators, to further the cause of business operators in Asia as he takes the reigns of Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA).

Mularski, Universal Weather and Aviation’s regional vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, recently was named chairman of AsBAA. For the next two years, he will manage strategy, programs and initiatives aimed at both growing and transforming AsBAA into a stronger, more vital organization advocating for business aviation operators and associates throughout the region.

While business aviation growth has slowed somewhat in China, it is booming in other parts of Asia. The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia each show double-digit growth.

“This is a very complex region for the business aviation industry,” he said. “Growth is strong here, but the infrastructure is still weak, and business operators must continue to depend on major commercial airports. As commercial operations expand in the region, we’re finding room for our operations diminishing.”

Mularski said AsBAA’s strengthening relationship with regulators throughout the region has contributed to a growing realization that business aviation is a vital factor in economic growth and plays a strong role in infrastructure development.

“One of the biggest challenges for business aviation in this region is that all the rules and restrictions tend toward invalidating the role of business aviation. That’s one of our top priorities, then: use one voice in the region to advocate the ‘No Plane No Gain’ message,” he explained.

Mularski said regulators are beginning to see AsBAA as an ally in facilitating their relationships with operators. That, he said, has given the group access to civil aviation directors general in countries throughout the region, enabling AsBAA to advocate for the industry by speaking with a single, unified voice.

Over the next two years, Mularski said he hopes to address some of the “hot spots” business operators encounter in Asia:

  • In Beijing, there is only a single FBO. Parking is limited and aircraft are allowed to stay only 48 hours or less.
  • In Hong Kong, there is virtually no space for business aircraft parking. With 140 business aircraft based in Hong Kong, there are only 25 parking spaces.
  • Many business aircraft operations are geographically offset because of low capacity at airports where they base their planes. As a result, for instance, many Hong Kong operators have moved to the Philippines. Some based in Singapore must transit from Malaysia.

“With new working groups and updated agendas, we’re making AsBAA more operator-oriented,” said Mularski. “We’re overcoming cultural differences and plan to grow the membership by 20 percent this year. Operators are seeing the value of our organization and they’re beginning to share, trust and build a real community.”

AsBAA, in partnership with NBAA, the Shanghai Airport Authority and Shanghai Exhibition Center co-hosts the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai, China. ABACE2016 will be held from April 12 to 14, 2016. Visit the ABACE2016 website.