Before the opening of ABACE 2018, AIN asked Gary Moran, vice chairman of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), about initiatives in Southeast Asia. He said the association’s first priority was to understand the existing landscape before focusing on how AsBAA could increase its participation in the industry and welcome new members.
“Some of the initiatives in Singapore include working with Changi Airport Group [CAG] to ensure business aviation is included within their plans for the new terminal concession at Seletar,” Moran said, “as well as meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and with CAG in order to advance the issue regarding the approach at Seletar.”
Recently, AsBAA established the first AsBAA Pilot’s chapter in Singapore, which held its first gathering during the recent Singapore Airshow. According to Moran, this was an opportunity to ascertain ways for AsBAA to support its member pilots in resolving the issues that matter most to them. This was later followed by a well-attended meeting in Hong Kong in late March.
The Philippines is a strong AsBAA chapter, thanks to the support of Max Motschmann of IJM and Benjamin Lopez, CEO of INAEC, also chairman of the AsBAA Phillipine Chapter formed in September 2017.
“We held an inaugural event with several VVIPs related to the transportation and aviation industries at the Shangri-La, Manila, which was supported strongly by regional AsBAA members,” Moran said. “This gave us the platform to progress to regular meetings and our two-day event, which catered for a delegation of interested AsBAA members to tour Ninoy Aquino International, Clark, and Subic Bay Airports and learn more about their infrastructure and appetite for general/business aviation.”
Recently, AsBAA has announced it signed an MoU with Subic Bay International Airport to cooperate on the development of business aviation infrastructure in the country. Lopez said, “AsBAA will support and advise on the initial design and ongoing operation of the Subic Bay International Airport.”
At the same time, Moran said AsBAA’s efforts with Malaysia have been reignited. He explained that this was driven by new member Sapura Aero, which has helped broadcast the benefits of business aviation and is well positioned with facilities in Subang and Senai to offer an alternative to Seletar in Singapore.
Meetings were held in Malaysia supported by Sapura Aero and SkyPark FBO. At the Singapore Airshow, AsBAA signed an MoU with Malaysia Airports Holdings to provide support for business aviation in Malaysia and particularly to Subang as it undergoes a proposed transformation.
“With the aforementioned established and working well, our attention turns to Indonesia and the Mekong Region,” said Moran. “Both are key to the long-term prosperity of business aviation in Asia, and again our objective is to ensure that the industry remains a key consideration in the updating and renewal of infrastructure in the respective areas.”
So far, AsBAA believes that it has been blessed with strong partners in Indonesia-based Premiair and Whitesky/HeliCity, which are passionate about coming together to further enhance prospects of Indonesia’s business aviation reputation.
“For the Mekong region, our objective is to bring together Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia under one chapter,” said Moran. “While each country in terms of business aviation is relatively small, together they can become a meaningful force. Our hope is to harness this into a united voice under AsBAA and increase involvement particularly outside of Thailand. This concept has received a positive reception from all countries and we look forward to progressing this later in 2018.”
As for AsBAA’s “aviation week” in Singapore, June 12-15, Moran said planned activities include a Bombardier-sponsored AsBAA Safety Day on June 11, a visit to Senai International Airport facilities, and the AsBAA Annual General Meeting on June 12.