With close to 500 guests in attendance, The Air Charter Association (The ACA) Air Charter Excellence Awards was the largest to date, and an ideal occasion to celebrate the achievements of members over the past year. The evening consisted of a pre-dinner reception followed by a three-course gala dinner and the awards ceremony, featuring nine awards presented by their respective sponsors.
With sustainability an important focus for the industry, The ACA, together with its Sustainability & Innovation working group, formulated several measures to minimise the environmental impact of the event. A low carbon menu featured locally sourced and sustainably grown produce and the overall travel impact of the event is being offset via The ACA’s sustainability partner 4Air and a ticketing system managed by Ticket Tailor, a carbon neutral organisation. The event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, which ensured that the immediate event footprint (water, energy and waste) was fully offset through purchase of carbon credits to be invested in sustainability schemes.
The ACA chairman Kevin Ducksbury says: “It was fantastic to see so many of our members gather to join us in recognising and celebrating excellence in our industry over the past year. The fact that the evening was so well attended is testament to the popularity of The Air Charter Association’s events.”
Following a global nomination process, winners are chosen through member voting and deliberations of the association’s industry adjudication panel. This year’s winners are:
- Executive passenger charter operator of the year: Platoon Aviation
- Commercial passenger charter operator of the year: Loganair
- Cargo charter operator of the year: Atlas Air
- Helicopter charter operator of the year: SaxonAir
- Handling agent or FBO of the year: Farnborough Airport
- Aircraft manufacturer of the year: Embraer
- Charter operators’ broker of the year: Air Partner
- The ACA NextGen young person of the year 2023: Charlie Woodward, RVL Aviation
- Sir Michael Marshall award for sustainability in aviation: Loganair.
Farnborough Airport won FBO of the Year for the ninth time and for its third year in a row. FBO director Dominic Osborne comments: “Receiving this esteemed accolade is an immense privilege, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to all who supported us through their votes. Our appreciation also goes to the entire Farnborough Airport team for their unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional service and operational excellence. Their commitment allows us to continually enhance our facilities and services, surpassing the expectations of our valued customers.”
In 2018, Farnborough was the first business aviation airport to be awarded carbon neutral status by Airports Council International Europe, and in July 2021 it introduced the use of SAF. In June 2022, the airport launched its Net Zero Roadmap, outlining its commitment to be net zero by 2030, and in 2023 became the first UK business aviation airport to achieve level 4+ carbon accreditation while announcing plans to install one of the largest solar installations in the UK’s southeast.
The event was sponsored by Cambridge City airport, Jet Centre by Willis, Loganair, London Biggin Hill airport, Luxaviation, Maleth Aero, TAG Aviation, Titan Airways, Volanteus, XLR Jet Centres and 8020 Communications.