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4th January 2019
BACA 2018: looking back on the last twelve months
2018 was an extremely busy and successful year for BACA; we now represent the interests of more than 240 members within the air charter industry and have a growing footprint around the world.
Air Charter Expo (ACE)
In partnership with Stansted News, BACA co-hosted Air Charter Expo (ACE18) at London Biggin Hill Airport in September for the second time. BACA’s dedicated conference and exhibition, presenting top-level seminars and training, alongside a fantastic line up of the charter aircraft from across the globe, ACE is not to be missed. The exhibition is rapidly growing and offers exceptional value for money with a one-day, one-stop-shop for brokers and operators to network, do business and experience first-hand the latest aircraft on the market.
Overnight airport restrictions
BACA engaged with UK National and Local Government, the Department for Transport and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation about the new Summer night restrictions at London’s Luton and Stansted Airports, which has a significant impact on the air charter industry and UK PLC. We highlighted the issue with the press and engaged with a number of associations around the globe on the issue. We are continuing our efforts on long term airport access, including meeting with London Southend Airport, the only London Airport open during the night in the summer months.
BACA calls for changes to Air Passenger Duty
Following the latest UK Budget, BACA announced that the increase to Air Passenger Duty (APD) on long-haul flights was a regrettable and short-sighted decision in already challenging times ahead of Brexit.
EU261 and TOMS Training Day
A bespoke training day took place in November with experts presenting on two subjects often misunderstood in our industry; the EU261 flight delay compensation regulation and TOMS (Tour Operators Margin Scheme and VAT). Members received advice and guidance on the subjects and how to ensure their business contracts are properly drafted to avoid liability.
Training Seminar on Finance & Data protection and compliance
A panel of experts gathered to present to members at a seminar offering guidance on the newly introduced EU General Data Protection Regulations and compliance; increasing cyber security threats and protecting payments for their businesses.
BACA repeated its traditional and extremely popular broker training, focussing on best-practices in all sectors of the industry; from light aircraft and bizjet to commercial airline and cargo charter. Sessions also offered guidance on how to ensure a better broker-operator relationship.
We are holding another broker training event on January 31st and places are limited, so if you would like to attend and have not yet done so, please get in touch ASAP to book.
BACA strives to keep members informed of industry developments such as the recent changes to the EU Data Protection Law, EU GDPR and how it would affect their businesses; sharing the most up to date information available to the industry on Brexit to help members plan for it.
New Deputy Chairman
Council Member Nick Weston of Weston Aviation was elected Deputy Chairman to share the role with Volker Meissner of ARGUS International. One of Nick’s key aims is to ensure BACA becomes a truly global association for air charter brokers.
New Council Members
BACA appointed two new Council Members, Ilaria Iacobini of Universal Aviation and Kevin Ducksbury of Emerge Aviation. Their breadth of experience, expertise and international reach was welcomed by the association to help achieve its objectives and bring diversity to the Council.
In order to deliver on as many of the projects BACA has planned as possible, the association introduced a series of sub-committees to focus on key industry areas. These include growing the membership and expanding its global reach; developing our events and charity work, particularly Air Charter Expo; focussing on industry issues and lobbying on behalf of members and promoting the association and the importance of its role in the market.
For the third consecutive year BACA hosted a networking event at Mr Pickwick on the first day of the show in Geneva. This BACA event has become a firm favourite feature of EBACE, providing relaxed and informal networking opportunities from all sections of our industry.
We are delighted that, thanks to the generous support of our members, BACA has raised a fantastic sum in excess of £15,000 GBP for charity fly2help this year. Fly2Help is an aviation charity dedicated to raising the spirits of people, young and old, living in difficult personal situations and inspiring young people as they consider their future lives.
Some of these funds have been used to set up Air Smiles Days, Aim High week-long programmes highlighting opportunities for young people in aviation and the recent Thomas Cook Santa Flights, which, without BACA’s support, would not have taken place. The charity is so close to the hearts of our industry and your generosity achieved so much for them in 2018 that we have decided to again support fly2help in 2019.
BACA Bikes the Lake
This was the association’s first charity cycle ride which involved a two-day challenge around Lake Geneva to support fly2help ahead of EBACE18. It was great fun and most importantly, raised valuable funds for the charity, as well as raising its awareness. We will be repeating it again in 2019, with even better options for everyone to take part and make the start of EBACE more relaxing.
A charity golf event was held for the second year running in partnership with London Biggin Hill Airport, at the fantastic West Kent Golf Club, raising significant sums for fly2help. The sun shone upon us and a great day was had by all, ahead of Air Charter Expo taking place the next day.
Our Spring Lunch in April was another sell-out event and extremely well received by our guests and sponsors. The event is renowned for its unrivalled networking and advertising opportunities, and 2018 was no exception.
BACA Excellence Awards Lunch
In October we again hosted our annual Excellence Awards Lunch where members gathered to network and learn which companies were to be recognised by their peers for their excellence in the industry. Winners of the Young Person of the Year Award and BACA Chairman’s Award were particularly well received and Eric Thurston OBE, a pioneer in the European aviation industry, was delighted to be honoured in his 99th year. The event was noted by many as BACA’s “best ever Awards Lunch” and a number of thank you messages were received from members, some of which can be found on our website.
Photos of all our events can be found via our website link to our Flickr page.
You can also view my recent video online here, a first for BACA; giving a round up of the association’s activities over the past year.
Thank you to each and every one of you, our members, for your ongoing support in attending and sponsoring our events, and for your generous charitable donations.
I should like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Here’s to a very exciting 2019!