Winter 2021

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Winter 2021

With private and VIP aviation continuing their upward trend, the industry has to a limited extent been able to meet face-to-face once again at gatherings including Air Charter Expo 21 at Biggin Hill, London, in September; the NBAA-BACE show in Las Vegas during October; and November’s Dubai Airshow.

Those events provided a forum for news, business and discussions about the future – which we now know will include the Bombardier Challenger 3500, a thorough modernisation of the super mid-size Challenger 350. Setting improvements to airframe, cabin, engines and systems aside, the Challenger 3500 has been designed with its lifetime environmental impact understood from day one, through an environmental product declaration, marking a commitment that it currently only shares with the Global 7500.

Gulfstream too has been busy, announcing the ultra-long range, Mach 0.925-capable G800 seemingly hot on the heels of the G700, which it expects to deliver for the first time in 2022. Continuing the close relationship forged over decades between the airframer and Rolls-Royce, the G800 promises an ultimate combination of speed and comfort for operators and owners looking to fly half a world away.

Yet still there are challenges to face, especially in terms of perception from outside the industry. In October and November, the UK hosted COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference. Business jets and head-of-state aircraft inevitably played an important role in bringing world leaders safely to Glasgow, Scotland, for the event and, perhaps equally inevitably, their presence generated a media storm.

Elements of the COP26 operation were certainly suboptimal from an aviation point of view, but when the media generates stories founded on ignorance, shouldn’t the industry respond with well-chosen facts? And an admission that yes, its aircraft do emit more carbon per passenger than an airliner, but that it is working hard to cut and ultimately eradicate those emissions? It seems we remain very good at telling one another what we do, but seldom reach out beyond the industry to inform others.

Our cover image for winter reflects upon a challenge the industry is no longer shy about: its efforts to become more diverse. The ladies are all members of the team at the San Marino Aircraft Registry, where President David Colindres is keen to continue encouraging women into the aviation industry.

In this edition we also meet the extraordinary Mohamed Hanno, Founder and Executive Chairman of the ASE Group, who reckons after almost 50 years in aviation that Jet A-1 rather than blood flows through his veins. In contrast, Neil Book, Chairman and CEO at JSSI, came to the industry in 2008 with no aviation experience at all, and is now hooked.

Hanno and Book are just two among the many passionate individuals we speak to this time around as we explore subjects as diverse as helicopter safety, charter apps, the benefits of a large cabin and the latest developments in the Venue cabin management system from Collins Aerospace.

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