NBAA Marks Passing of EBAA Co-Founder François Chavatte

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, June 28, 2021 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) joins with the international aviation community in marking the passing of industry pioneer François Chavatte, co-founder of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). Chavatte passed away June 24.

Recognizing the need for advocacy on behalf of Europe’s emerging business aviation industry, in 1977 Chavatte joined with Frits Philips to found EBAA and later served as the association’s president and chairman of the board. Chavatte was also instrumental in the creation of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), an annual showcase of the industry’s extensive presence throughout the continent.

“François’s decades-long service and dedication to business aviation truly helped establish the industry’s powerful, united voice across Europe,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “He will long be remembered not only as a pioneer in Europe’s business aviation community, but also as a champion for our industry’s vital role in connecting our world.”

Chavatte joined the French Air Force in 1952 as a reconnaissance and fighter pilot. After exiting military service, he was hired by IBM, and from 1969 until 1993 headed the company’s flight operations, which under Chavatte’s stewardship evolved into a truly international organization.

Shortly after joining IBM, Chavatte co-piloted an Aero Commander 680 twin-engine piston aircraft from the United States to France. The March 1960 trip with U.S.-based pilot Charles McKinnon marked the first transatlantic business aviation flight to land at Paris-Le Bourget Airport and the first business aircraft to be based at what is today one of Europe’s busiest business aviation facilities.


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 11,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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