Jean-Francois Georges and Fernand Francois to Receive European Business Aviation Awards at EBACE2004

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Geneva, Switzerland, May 10, 2004 – Jean-Francois Georges, former president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. and senior vice president of civil aircraft for Dassault Aviation, and Fernand Francois, CEO of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), are the 2004 recipients of the EBACE European Business Aviation Awards, created to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of business aviation in Europe. These awards will be presented during the EBACE 4th Annual Awards Reception & Banquet in Geneva on the evening of Wednesday, May 26.

Jean-Francois Georges
Throughout his career, Jean-Francois George has worked unceasingly to protect and develop the interests of business aviation across Europe.

Georges retired as president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. and senior vice president of civil aircraft for Dassault Aviation in late 2003. A graduate of Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace, SUPAERO, he joined Dassault Aviation in 1964 as a flight test engineer, going on to become the Number 2 on the Mercure program.

Georges was appointed director general of civil aircraft, Falcon Division, in 1992, and since then he has been a true champion of business aviation in Europe. To this end, he took the initiative to set up a specific Business Aviation Committee inside the French Aeronautical and Astronautics Association. Four European manufacturers – Airbus, Dassault, Eurocopter and Socata – were involved in this group, as well as the French AOPA, EBAA France and Aeroport de Paris. Among other things, this committee developed a white paper on business aviation that was formally submitted to the director general of the French CAA (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile). As a consequence, three working groups were established to examine fractional ownership, operational matters and environmental issues related to business aviation.

The French CAA officially recognizes those three working groups, and exchanges of views now regularly take place between the working groups, the French associations and the administration. Georges has actively participated in the development of the French report on fractional ownership, which is to be presented to the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).

Fernand Francois
Born in Belgium, Fernand Francois began his career in advertising and, as a private pilot with strong aviation interests, soon gravitated to the international aviation trade press. In this role he participated in aerospace exhibitions and from his Brussels base also worked with the European Commission, making him a natural choice to be appointed CEO of the European Business Aviation Association in January 1993. He plans to retire from his post as EBAA CEO at the end of this year.

Under his leadership, EBAA’s direct membership has grown from 75 in 1993 to almost 200 today, with a corresponding increase in association activity and influence. It was Francois’s idea to hold an EBAA Annual Convention, beginning modestly with 80 delegates in 1995 and rising to more than 350 in 2000.

As a development of this event and reflecting the close linkage between EBAA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in the United States, Francois and then-NBAA President John W. Olcott gained the support of their Boards to develop the EBAA Convention into a Conference and Exhibition – now known as the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) – the first being held in 2001 in Geneva. The event was an immediate success with more than 3,600 Delegates at the first EBACE in 2001, and it quickly established itself as the premiere business aviation event in Europe, with more than 6,000 Delegates and Exhibitors expected this year.

Banquet Date and Location
The EBACE 4th Annual Awards Reception & Banquet will be held Wednesday, May 26 in the heart of Geneva at the Hotel President Wilson, located on the banks of Lac Léman. The presentation of the 2004 EBACE European Business Aviation Awards will be the highlight of the Banquet, which also will include entertainment. The cost to attend this event is $100 per person.

For more information, visit the official EBACE web site at

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,600 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

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