As the 2019 edition of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE2019) drew to a close under sunny skies, organizers said the growing show pointed to a continual increase in speed and altitude for the event, and the broader industry in Asia. This year’s show was held April 16 – 18, 2019.
“The excitement and energy were even higher at ABACE this year than previous years,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The new product announcements, the first-time show features and the forward-looking view from government and market leaders all showed that the pace of business aviation development here is accelerating, as is the growth and importance of China and Asia in the global aviation ecosystem.”
Bolen pointed to several examples to illustrate his point, including the following:
• The show had its largest footprint ever, with several of the event’s 160 exhibitors expanding their exhibit space, including into one of the 12 chalets outside on the airport ramp.
• ABACE2019 was the occasion for major aircraft announcements: Bombardier chose ABACE as the first international show to display its Global 7500. Bell Helicopter brought its 505, which was previously at ABACE in mock-up form. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China unveiled its new CBJ business jet. A number of sales and other agreements were announced throughout the busy week.
• This year’s ABACE opening keynote session showcased the embrace by top government leaders of the industry’s potential. Those participating included Jiang Chunshui, Party Secretary of the East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC); Yun Qin, Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA) chair; Xin Feng, SAA President, and; Cai Jun, Shanghai Traffic Commission inspector. The session also included addresses from Sean Stein, consul general of the United States in Shanghai, and Weldon Epp, consul general of Canada in Shanghai.
• ABACE2019 was filled with “firsts,” including an opening keynote panel discussion, moderated by Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) Chair Jenny Lau, focused on opportunities for business aviation in China. The panel featured participants from Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Textron Aviation, and Cirrus Aircraft – all companies with long-standing experience in the Asian market.
• As another first-time ABACE event, the show’s second day kicked off with a session dedicated to the development of Urban Air Mobility in Asia. The panel included representation from China-based electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing manufacturers, such as EHang and AutoFlightX, as well as those with an international footprint, including Honeywell and jetAviva.
• The show included a symposium, hosted by the CAAC, which explored innovative ideas for further developing China’s aviation infrastructure to meet future needs.
• This year’s ABACE Careers in Business Aviation Day, which introduces high school students to business aviation careers, hosted a record-setting 230-plus students, from a wider geographic diversity of schools than ever before.
• More than a dozen ABACE education sessions explored global trends, new markets, geopolitics and other timely issues of concern for the industry.
“This year’s ABACE crossed new milestones in reflecting the dynamic evolution and unique characteristics of business aviation in the region,” Bolen continued. “It was inspiring to see the business aviation community in China, across Asia and from around the world come together, and to hear that we met or exceeded the expectations of show participants. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to ABACE for another successful event next year.”
ABACE is held each year in partnership with the SAA, and co-hosted by NBAA and AsBAA. ABACE2020 will take place in Shanghai from April 21-23. Learn more about ABACE2020.