Despite another tough year battling the Coronavirus pandemic and its variants, The British Business and General Aviation Association demonstrated continued resilience in 2021.
The Association spent most of the year working from home on Teams and Zoom with all major conferences and events cancelled or postponed.
“As we enter 2022, however, with the subsiding of Omicron and vaccination boosters, we are readying for industry gatherings once again,” said CEO Marc Bailey. “We are looking forward to Luton Hoo and our 2022 annual conference on March 10.”
This year’s theme is Hybrid – redefining the sector – from hybrid working to hybrid aircraft.
Much of the important work BBGA undertakes is protecting and supporting members’ interests at local level with the Treasury, DfT and the UK CAA. Internationally, it participates in many forums and associations to help promote the interests of UK business and general aviation worldwide. BBGA has been instrumental in work before, during and after Brexit to secure a level playing field across Europe for UK aviation businesses.
Year 2021 highlights included:-
· Transferring the annual conference online to ensure continued accessibility for all members.
· The reorganisation of the BBGA Board early in the year with all board members assigned specific responsibilities in line with their expertise.
· Campaigning for Government Covid financial support with regular direct communications to Government via its steering group, ESG.
· Held weekly meetings with the CAA and DfT on Teams, leading the bilateral agreements for permits across Europe post Brexit working with members feeding in their experiences and preferred outcomes.
· In August BBGA formed a working group including those affected by the loss of access to pan European satellite navigation system EGNOS. This included Highlands and Islands Airports, Isles of Scilly and Lands End, airlines and helicopter organisations. We presented a paper to the CAA and continue to lobby for a resolution.
· London Oxford Airport was the venue for a successful BBGA Connects and media briefing event in September.
· The BBGA engaged with the CAA on illegal charter as part of our ongoing work which has been in place for many years, but brought back into focus considering the Sala accident.
· The BBGA put forward an Open Consultation on Night Flights, titled: ‘Night Flights restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted airports beyond 2024, plus national night flight policy’ highlighting business aviation should be considered as a separate entity from commercial aviation, and to apply certain rules and regulations that recognise these specifics, especially during post Covid when commercial usage is likely to be reduced until at least 2024 and probably beyond.
· BBGA put forward a SAF Consultation, concluding our sector is confident operators and owners will purchase SAF if it is more widely available.
· BBGA responded to the UK Jet Zero consultation. To date our sector has been successful in achieving its targeted improvements in fuel efficiency. However, the challenge remains towards achieving the goals of Carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a reduction in total CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050 relative to 2005.
· BBGA continued its work alongside the Talent Retention Scheme agency – advising on how to help control the loss of talent resources. As the first association to work with government and industry we applaud this initiative as a vital tool for our sector.
· BBGA advised on the UK’s approach to fractional ownership in the UK. In practice it allows private airfields to thrive when we are looking for inward investment to the UK and helping move people around in a business context.
· Added a Sustainability Working Group to its FBO, Operations, Membership and Professional Flight Training and Airworthiness Groups
· Following the successful transition from Operations Manager to Director General in July 2021 the BBGA Board and BBGA CEO Marc Bailey were delighted to confirm Lindsey’s new position as Managing Director at year end.