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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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Knaapen to lead development of IBAC partner programme
Already a contributor to IBAC and other key industry organisations, Leo Knaapen will now lead efforts to build an interactive global business aviation community and advance IBAC's work at ICAO.
Head of the IBAC industry partner programme Leo Knaapen.

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) has appointed industry veteran Leo Knaapen as head of the IBAC industry partner programme. Knaapen joined IBAC following his retirement from Bombardier in December 2022, where he was chief of industry affairs.

IBAC director general Kurt Edwards says: “It is my pleasure to welcome Leo to the growing IBAC team. He brings to this new role at IBAC a depth of experience as a worldwide industry leader and an important contributor to IBAC and other key industry organisations. Through the Industry Partner Programme, Leo will lead efforts to grow IBAC's capabilities to serve the global business aviation community at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). We are excited to have his passion and enthusiasm for business aviation, which will undoubtedly help IBAC expand our advocacy and reach for the industry.”

Knaapen adds: “I am excited to join IBAC and look forward to strengthening the global business aviation industry at the ICAO level while encouraging a broader industry engagement across the business aviation sector. I have witnessed first hand the important results generated by this modest team of professionals and how its diligence and expertise have quietly benefitted aircraft operators, manufacturers and service providers.

“It's now time to spread the word and build our partner base, so IBAC can accelerate the good work already under way and address emerging issues.”

Chairman of the IBAC governing board Ali Alnaqbi says: “We are excited to have Leo join IBAC and look forward to working with him to build an interactive global business aviation community and advance IBAC's work at ICAO.”

During his tenure with Bombardier, Knaapen successfully established a unique function guiding Bombardier's overall engagement with civil aviation organisations while increasing its global engagement and leadership on key business aviation portfolios, notably in air safety and environmental sustainability.

A proven aviation expert and industry leader, he has been recognised by several organisations for his nearly four decades of service. They include NBAA's Order of the Silver Scarf; IBAC's François Chavatte Award; and the Canadian Business Aviation Association for his longtime leadership of CBAA's Quebec chapter.

A non-profit international trade association, IBAC represents business aircraft operators at ICAO, the UN-specialised agency that sets the global rules for international aviation. IBAC promotes safety, advocates for access and appropriate regulation and advances sustainability efforts. Via its Industry Partner Programme, IBAC encourages the participation and support of business aviation manufacturers, service providers and operators as industry partners and operator affiliates.

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