BACA - The Air Charter Association has presented its Excellence Awards annually for the last 11 years, and this year's ceremony attracted guests from all over the world thanks to the adoption of a number of changes to ensure that the awards reflect the very best in the air charter industry on a global level. A panel of international judges represented many of the key regional and trade associations; their nomination reviews and mark allocations accounted for a high proportion of the scoring. This panel included AINonline, AsBAA, EBAA, TIACA and Panavia MD and council member Geraldine Malempre. The BACA membership also voted on the shortlist of finalists and the scores were combined to find the ultimate winners.
Passenger Charter Operator of the Year, sponsored by Air Charter Service, was awarded to Air Charter Scotland; Cargo Charter Operator of the Year was sponsored by Network Aviation Group and went to Antonov Airlines; Handling Agent/FBO of the Year, sponsored by Luxaviation UK, was given to Signature Flight Support; Aircraft Manufacturer of the Year was sponsored by London Biggin Hill Airport and given to Bombardier; and Young Person of the Year, sponsored by TAG Farnborough Airport, was awarded to Zach Rankin.
Finally, the BACA Chairman's Award sponsored by Titan Airways went to 99-year-old Captain Eric Thurston, MBE. He was able to accept in person and received a very warm reception.
Chairman Richard Mumford concluded by saying: "We have changed a few things to ensure that the winners of the 2018 BACA Awards are as international as possible and reflect the global reach of our industry. I would like to thank the judges for their hard work and diligence in judging the different categories. I would also like to thank the sponsors for their continued support of the awards, and for ensuring we have had increased levels of interest this year. I would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone concerned for such an incredible BACA Awards luncheon."