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Environment and business aviation tops BBGA agenda
Embracing the number one issue today, the BBGA is putting sustainability at the heart of its conference. The keynote speaker is environmentalist, former MEP, World Bank representative and author Stanley Johnson.
Stanley Johnson will be this year’s keynote speaker at the BBGA annual conference and AGM.

The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) is putting sustainability at the heart of its annual conference theme next month. Returning to Luton Hoo Hotel, UK, on Thursday, 5 March, the association confirms that environmentalist, former MEP and World Bank representative, author Stanley Johnson will be this year's keynote speaker.

The conference will also address the importance of Future Aviation Strategy 2050 with minister for aviation and major infrastructure Paul Maynard MP, followed by a workshop discussion. BBGA and its membership have provided input to FAS 2050, highlighting how the unique characteristics of business and general aviation can make a valued contribution. “We are on the precipice of an exciting new world in aviation, encompassing alternative fuels, modern renewable powerplants and new eVTOL models,” says CEO Marc Bailey. “Our recommendations for a sustainable future include maximising the use of airspace, performance based navigation and multiple approach paths to minimise noise and fuel burn, as well as the need to invest in sustainable fuels.”

There will be a session focused on air travel and SAF with EBAA head of environment Bruce Parry, Air BP UK and the Nordics general manager Thorbjörn Larsson and Shell Aviation global biofuels manager Bryan Stonehouse.

A session on illegal charter and a call for regulation and legislation, heightened in light of the high profile and tragic Sala accident, will be chaired by BBGA chair and partner Air Law Firm JOB Aoife O'Sullivan, together with The Air Charter Association (The ACA) CEO Dave Edwards, UK CAA head of airline licensing and consumer issues David Kendrick and Isle of Man Aircraft Registry director of civil aviation Simon Williams.

In the afternoon BBGA will address the prerequisites for a sustainable (operationally viable) future for our airports, including the smaller airfields under threat from closure. London Oxford airport head of business development James Dillon-Godfray will lead the debate, with Miles Thomas, environment manager at Farnborough airport, the world's first carbon neutral airport, and Douglas Mancini, chair of Fairoaks 2020, the lobby group for Surrey's Fairoaks airport.

In the second stand-alone talk, biologist Rod Arnold will highlight how the British Antarctic Survey (and David Attenborough) relies on business aviation as an enabler for climate change research. As head of the BAS Air Unit, Rod oversees the operation of five de Havilland Dash 7 and Twin Otter aircraft active in the polar regions, delivering science to the Antarctic and Arctic.

“The aviation industry has found itself firmly in the spotlight since the beginning of the year and much has been directly related to sustainability. The title, theme and timing of our conference is especially relevant,” adds Bailey. “Sustainability is extremely pertinent to the next generation, as we heard at the Corporate Jet Investor conference in London and EBAA's AirOps 2020 in Brussels. We are pleased too to be joining forces with our sister organisations in tackling this issue. Bailey will be joined by Airlines UK CEO Tim Alderslade, AOPA UK CEO Martin Robinson, EBAA secretary general Athar Hussein Khan and The Air Charter Association CEO Dave Edwards in discussing this hugely importantly topic.

“Stanley Johnson leads a diverse and interesting speaker line up this year, adding to what we are sure will be an informative and educational event. We are also holding a so far untitled and undisclosed 30 minute session in the afternoon which will inevitably lead to a call to action.”

BBGA will use the occasion to present the Michael Wheatley outstanding contribution to industry award. Recent recipients were Inflite Group CEO Penny Stephens (2019); Philip Lammiman (2018) and Andrew Walters (2017). The day will conclude with a networking gala dinner.

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