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Air Hamburg, Air Alsie and SaxonAir are judged excellent
A night of fine dining was topped off with the awards for excellence in a number of categories that recognised The ACA member teams from across all sectors of the business aviation industry.
London Southend Jet Centre was placed joint second for Handling Agent/FBO of the Year.
Read this story in our December 2022 printed issue.

The Air Charter Association (The ACA) has reveal edthe 2022 winners of its Air Charter Excellence Awards, hosted on Thursday, 17 November at at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton in the UK.

Companies and individuals were nominated in nine categories and winners chosen through a combination of member voting and an independent judging panel.

The first award of the night went to Farnborough airport, who took home 'FBO/Handling Agent of the Year'.

FBO director Dominic Osborne says: “To receive this prestigious accolade is a huge privilege, and we are incredibly grateful to all those who voted for us. We would like to thank the entire Farnborough airport team for their ongoing commitment to delivering outstanding service and operational excellence, enabling us to constantly improve our facilities and services, and exceed our customers' expectations.”

This year marks the eighth time that Farnborough has been awarded the title, which recognises the efforts of FBO providers from around the world, having first won the coveted accolade in 2008.

Farnborough airport was the UK's first airfield in aviation history and home to the country's first powered flight in 1908. Over the years the airport has continued to be a leader in aviation and pioneer in sustainability in the industry. The Farnborough team is committed to minimising environmental impact and continually improving environmental performance throughout its operations. In 2018, Farnborough airport was the first business aviation airport to be awarded carbon neutral status by Airports Council International Europe, and in July 2021 the airport introduced the use of sustainable aviation fuel. In June 2022, it launched its Net Zero Roadmap, outlining its commitment to be net zero by 2030, establishing one of the most ambitious net zero targets in the aviation sector.

London Southend Jet Centre was placed joint second for the FBO award; it was one of six finalists in the category, up against many larger and well-established FBOs from the international aviation community.

Head of business development Richard Walker says: “We had a fantastic night at The ACA Excellence Awards and were delighted to be nominated in the best FBO/Handling Agent category. Although we didn't win, the recognition amongst the industry of the hard work and dedication of the LSJC team to support aviation by enabling customers smooth access to and from London in a difficult operational year was highly appreciated.

“We continue to build on a successful year to play our part in providing credible solutions for aviation in London and will do our best to win first place next year.”

Hunt & Palmer PLC was awarded Charter Operators' Broker of the Year , a brand new category for 2022 that recognises the value the brokerage community delivers in facilitating executive, commercial and cargo air charters.

Chairman Jeremy Palmer proudly accepted the accolade from Alex Harrington, commercial director of category sponsor Titan Airways and thanked operator clients for their nominations.

“The broker/operator relationship is very special," says Palmer. "Our clients entrust us to look after their travel needs and cargo requirements with the utmost discretion and care. Therefore our choice of operator for the range of missions we support is crucial to meeting and exceeding everyone's expectations. Mutual respect and attention to detail is also very important, so this accolade, from the ACA's member operators is truly appreciated. This award is for the entire Hunt & Palmer and Premier Aviation family in Europe, USA, Asia and Australasia.”

Hunt & Palmer has been an active member of The Air Charter Association since 1986.

Other category winners included Bombardier for 'Aircraft Manufacturer of the Year'; Air Hamburg for 'Executive Passenger Charter Operator of the Year'; Air Alsie for 'Commercial Passenger Charter Operator of the Year'; Antonov Airlines for 'Cargo Charter Operator of the Year'; SaxonAir for 'Helicopter Charter Operator of the Year'.

The ACA's NextGen Young Person of the Year award, which is given to the person who best demonstrates exceptional services to the industry in the under 25 age bracket, was awarded to Charlotte Rees of UK charter operator FlyWales.

The Sir Michael Marshall Award for Sustainability in Aviation was awarded to Nicola-Jane Sellers of Luxaviation in recognition of her efforts in raising awareness of sustainability and innovation in aviation.

Following a drinks reception in the hotel's Clarence Room, The ACA chairman Kevin Ducksbury welcomed a record number of more than 400 guests to the Gala event, where a gourmet three course meal was served alongside the presentation of nine awards. The finalists and winners in each category were announced by their respective sponsors. After dinner, guests moved into the adjoining Cambridge Hall where they enjoyed an evening of networking and entertainment.

Ducksbury says: “The Air Charter Excellence Awards is The ACA's flagship annual event, and it gives us the opportunity to recognise and reward excellence in our industry.

“New for 2022 are the awards for the Helicopter Charter Operator of the Year and the Operators' Charter Broker of the Year, an award voted on exclusively by operator members of The ACA to recognise our broker members who are at the core of the Association.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all our winners. 2022 has been a very successful year, although not without its challenges, and bringing our members together to celebrate in this way is an honour.”

Sponsors of the event included 8020 Communications, ACC Aviation, ACP Worldwide, Cambridge City airport, Farnborough airport, Flight Consulting Group, Harrods Aviation, London Southend Jet Centre, Luxaviation, Titan Airways and XLR Jet Centres.

Images are credited to photographer Susanne Hakuba.

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