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The ACA commemorates Sala and grows executive team
The association remembers Emiliano Sala with its Fly Legal Day. It is also expanding member support with Madeleine Field as general manager operations and Julie Ellis, who will help transition training as it moves online.
Training manager Julie Ellis.

Global trade organisation The Air Charter Association (The ACA) is raising awareness of the dangers of illegal charter flights and honouring Emiliano Sala with its annual Fly Legal Day on 21 January.

Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson tragically lost their lives when an illegally chartered aircraft crashed into the English Channel on 21 January 2019. Marking the four year anniversary, The ACA is again calling on industry partners to support its mission to widen awareness and help travellers recognise the dangers of illegal charter.

The ACA chief executive Glenn Hogben says: “We're inviting all our members and industry colleagues around the world to unite in raising awareness about illegal charter and its associated dangers. Sadly, while rare, chartering illegally remains an ongoing issue in our industry and, together, we can spread the word about this and prevent future tragedies like the Sala case.

“21 January, 2023 will mark our second annual Fly Legal Day. The ACA's priority is always to uphold the highest industry standards, trust, professionalism and, above all else, safety. Booking with one of our trusted member companies ensures that those involved in organising air charter and the passengers will avoid illegal charter flights and prevent putting anyone at significant risk.”

An illegal charter is an unlicensed aircraft charter operation where the operator does not have an AOC (Air Operator Certificate), or Air Carrier Certificate (US) and is operating a private aircraft for which the operator, aircraft owner and/or pilot is not legally licensed to accept payment for their flying or aircraft.

The ACA is asking its industry partners to show their support on social media Saturday, 21 January to raise awareness and help travellers recognise the dangers of illegal charter.

The ACA has also appointed training manager Julie Ellis to expand the association's member training courses, and has promoted business and events manager Madeleine Field to general manager operations.

Ellis has more than 20 years' experience in the air charter industry. As training manager she will be responsible for developing the association's training offering for members and delivering The ACA's Air Charter Broker Qualification alongside chief executive Glenn Hogben and the board.

Her appointment will support the association with its transition to offering training online for members, in addition to the in-person opportunities already on offer.

Chairman Kevin Ducksbury says: “Providing our members with training is a key priority and, with Julie's expertise in the air charter industry, we will be able to expand our offering. Online training provides added flexibility for our international members and we're looking forward to launching this service in the coming months.”

Ellis adds: “Enhancing training opportunities for our members is an exciting prospect and I'm delighted to be working with the board and wider team to enable this.”

Having worked for The ACA since 2015, Field has been appointed to general manager operations. Her promotion reflects the vital role she has in running and managing the broad range of functions for the association.

Hogben says: “This promotion is a fitting testament to the dedication and hard work Madeleine has demonstrated during her time with the association and will expand The ACA's capabilities to support our members."

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