Autumn 2022

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Autumn 2022

On 27 September, the Air Charter Association held its Air Charter Expo (ACE) at London Biggin Hill Airport. The exhibition hall buzzed with conversation and the static display – inside and out – thronged with visitors, as delegates and exhibitors renewed acquaintances and talked business.
There was optimism that Covid restrictions in China might soon be lifted, countered by concerns over the continuing war in Eastern Europe and inflated fuel prices. The word ‘recession’ was in the air.

I’ve been struggling to write meaningful words in columns like this for at least 20 years and uncertainty seems to have become a common theme. From my onlooker’s perspective that seems a terribly negative influence, but a chance ACE conversation with veteran Chapman Freeborn passenger sales executive Egle Verbickaite changed my point of view.

Egle is passionate about business and VIP charter, and about aviation. For her the uncertainty, challenges and ‘every-day-is-different’ experience are what the industry is about, and why she loves it so much.

Passion is something that shines through in this autumn 2022 edition. If you’ve picked the magazine up in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center at the NBAA-BACE show then thank you and, hopefully, you’ll see evidence of the industry’s fervour for aviation all around you. There is no shortage of it between these covers. After almost four decades in aviation, Noel Christen, VP of Operations at Citadel Completions, still bubbles with excitement for the industry, while EVA’s conversation with Frédéric Perez, Operations Director at Swissport Executive Aviation Maroc, continued into the wider world of aviation well beyond the scope of the published article.

Meanwhile, Mélanie Prince, F/LIST’s ebullient Head of Innovation, is driven by the ideas of those around her, frequently embracing the seemingly impossible as the company creates dramatic new cabin features using natural raw materials sustainably. We are, perhaps, in danger of overusing the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’, but the agenda they describe is real and pressing. Returning briefly to the ACE show, a fashion and luxury lifestyle journalist asked me if business aviation could ever be sustainable. The answer was long, but the message is that the world cares and business aviation is taking a lead.

Fuel, of course, is critical to sustainability and Marc Ramthun, Director of Sales – Business Aviation at AEG Fuels, explains how the company is working hard to make SAF more widely available and increase awareness. In the process, he describes how his own experience has changed him from SAF sceptic to SAF advocate. The huge aircraft print on his office wall also reveals him as an aviation enthusiast and veteran – yet another passionate personality colouring the industry.
Julie Voisin, Global Marketing Manager – Aerospace Market & Automotive Interiors at Sherwin-Williams, has spent her entire career quite literally doing just that. Her enthusiasm for aircraft coatings is extraordinary and we explore how Sherwin-Williams’ products featured in a recent West Star Aviation Citation refurbishment.
West Star’s Lead Designer, Emilie Harbour explains how she remodelled the aircraft’s cabin and created a paint scheme, leaving the aircraft good as new, even though important elements, including the seat frames and side panels, were reused. The result encapsulates the passion for excellence, care and customer experience that remain constants in business and VIP aviation, regardless of how uncertain times may be.

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