June 5, 2020
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen offered his insights on the state of business aviation both across the Asia-Pacific and around the globe through the COVID-19 crisis in a recent podcast from industry sales, charter and consulting firm Asian Sky Group.
“It’s been interesting to see how nimble, flexible and professional this particular industry has been in meeting this challenge,” Bolen said in the latest episode of the Asian SkyCast. “That’s not surprising, because we’re an industry that plots and plans methodically… and we always have alternatives and we have redundancies built in. It really does show how the DNA of this industry helps us prepare for surprises, on any journey.”
Despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, Bolen pointed to the ongoing growth of business aviation throughout the region and the important role of the annual Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in fostering the industry’s development.
“One of the things we’ve been so encouraged about in China is how the government’s 12th Five-Year Plan [and] 13th Five-Year Plan have been very forward-looking about the value of general aviation,” he said. “Through the course of ABACE we’ve been able to see dramatic growth in the number of airports in China; we don’t have all we need, but we’ve certainly come a long way.”
Adding that ABACE remains a “fundamental milestone marking Asia’s growing impact on global business aviation,” Bolen reaffirmed that despite the show’s cancellation this year due to COVID-19, ABACE plans to return to Shanghai in 2021.
Bolen also noted that planning remains underway for the 2021 edition of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2021) from May 18-20, as well as NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2020) coming to Orlando, FL, Oct. 6-8.
“I think people in the United States and around the world are ready to do whatever is needed to mitigate the risk involved in COVID environment, but also to facilitate life,” he said.