The Swiss Role
First time visitors to the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, be warned – ensure you wear comfortable shoes, remember to eat, drink and go the loo during the day (could be just me on that one) and be ready to enjoy the magnificent array of aircraft on display. More than 50 aircraft of ’em at last count. These guys are all out on the static park, which is conveniently situated outside the formerly full Hall 7 in Geneva’s Palexpo convention centre.
It is the second largest event on the international business aviation show circuit, and an important marker as to what’s going down. This year I’ll mostly be looking out for what the interiors guys have on show – both concepts from the big houses: AMAC, Associated Air Center, Jet Aviation, Lufthansa Technik, Gore Designs and the like – and some of the whizzy technical gear from the inflight entertainment and connectivity providers.
One of the most important hot topics is the advent of the next leap forward in satellite communication services, due to take place this year. This is Inmarsat’s new Ka-band GX (Global Xpress) satellite constellation. There are already several resellers, including industry giants Rockwell Collins and Thales. Panasonic Avionics, meanwhile, has news of its own using the Ku-band system. It says it can now reach hitherto unavailable areas of the world in subtropical regions. For more info, read the mag I edit – Inflight – online later this month at www.hmgaerospace.com
Otherwise, take the time to enjoy the delights of Geneva. Expect to pay five times as much as you usually would for something as simple as a hamburger. But then revel in the fact all the hotels give out free public transport passes, and if you’re at the show as a serious visitor, chances are you’ll get fed and watered on site anyway!