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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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IOC 2024 in Florida tackles pressing aviation topics
NBAA's 2024 International Operators Conference is the latest in a series of events on the business aviation calendar. The theme was ‘Aviate and Communicate – Bringing Inspiration to Your International Operations’.

More than 500 professionals attended the recent NBAA International Operators Conference (IOC 2024), held in Orlando, Florida. Conference attendees, representing 17 countries and 40 US states, had access to analysts' perspectives on the most pressing concerns in the international aviation arena, from geopolitical developments to the increasing need for awareness of emerging security threats on the ground and in the air, to the often-divergent operational requirements among geographic regions and countries, included among a host of topics in focus.

“This year's conference reached a new altitude in bringing the industry together to remain on top of an ever-changing global aviation landscape, with insights from leaders in the field, dedicated sessions with actionable intelligence and peer-to-peer learning opportunities unavailable at any other industry event,” says NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Attendees have come away informed and inspired about the opportunities on the world stage.”

The theme for this year's conference: ‘Aviate and Communicate – Bringing Inspiration to Your International Operations’ was fitting for an uplifting opening keynote address by Ron Mumm, a former military fighter pilot and commander of the iconic US Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.

Mumm, who has also led business aviation operations for some of the world's largest companies, skillfully combined stories from his flying career with lessons learned about the importance of inclusion in teamwork. “When you include everyone, there's a challenge in ensuring individual voices are heard, while simultaneously making the collective as good as it can be,” he notes.

During the event, industry leaders also issued a powerful call to action on two advocacy priorities.

Darryl Young, director, trip support at AEG Fuels, took the stage to warn about plans from government leaders to impose onerous new taxes and IRS audits on business aviation. Attendees were urged to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill with NBAA's call to action.

Young was joined on stage by Mente director of flight operations Mark McIntyre, Nancy Bsales, COO, sustainability 4Air and Bas de Bruijn, senior director of aviation, Dell Technologies, to discuss Climbing. Fast, the new advocacy campaign to showcase business aviation's mission to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Young and de Bruijn urged attendees to visit the campaign's website, learn more and help spread the word about the industry's sustainability leadership.

This year's IOC was the occasion for the introduction of a new tool, the International Flight Plan Format Guide aimed at helping operators comply with varying requirements for flight plans from the FAA, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and foreign regulators.

The event also provided a moment to recognise excellence in the industry, when Mente's McIntyre and Shawn Scott, co-founder of Scott International Procedures, were honoured with the Guy Gribble IOC Appreciation Award for dedicated service to NBAA's International Operators Committee. The committee also recognised several recipients of business aviation professional development scholarships.

NBAA's 2024 International Operators Conference is the latest in a series of highly successful events on the business aviation calendar this year, including the association's largest-ever Regional Forum in Miami Opa-locka on January 31; NBAA's record-shattering Leadership Conference in Palm Springs, California on February 8; and the blockbuster NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas from March 12-14.

Those who were unable to attend IOC 2024 can view virtual education sessions, now available online. The 2025 International Operators Conference is scheduled for February 11-13 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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