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Visionaries from industry, government to keynote EBACE2016

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) have announced that three distinguished and influential representatives who have have been instrumental in business aviation’s humanitarian efforts will serve as keynote speakers for the 2016 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2016), which is scheduled for May 24 to 26 at Geneva's Palexpo Convention Centre.


April 13, 2016
By NBAA

The event’s Opening General Session will include presentations by:

  • Bernard Kouchner, physician and co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde
  • Bassim Haidar, group founder and CEO of Channel IT Group
  • Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

“We are honoured to welcome these esteemed speakers to EBACE, where they will highlight the global reach of business aviation, particularly its critical role in assisting with humanitarian outreach and relief efforts around the globe,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“In addition to addressing key issues affecting the industry, these speakers will provide EBACE attendees with a firsthand perspective about business aviation’s critical – and often overlooked – role in helping with the development of emerging regions, and connecting remote areas without access to ground-based transportation,” Bolen added.

“EBAA is pleased to welcome a host of visionary leaders to this year’s event,” said EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba. “Their combined experiences and accomplishments have been a source of inspiration for many in political, economic, regulatory and business spheres and will set the stage for what promises to be an exciting event.”

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In 1968, four years after earning his medical degree, Kouchner traveled with about 50 colleagues to lend humanitarian assistance in the war-torn Biafra region of southeastern Nigeria. His experiences there compelled him to assist with the creation of Médecins Sans Frontières in 1971, formed by the merging of two existing French relief efforts. In addition to serving as the organization’s first director, Kouchner also became active in French politics, serving as France’s first minister of humanitarian affairs and later as France’s minister of health.

Named to Amnesty International’s prestigious global council earlier this year, Haidar is the chairman and CEO of the Channel IT Group, a telecommunications company based in Nigeria. Channel IT operates in more than 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, playing a major role in bringing communications infrastructure, technologies and services to emerging markets.

Ky is a 26-year veteran of European civil aviation, and since 2007 has been the principal force behind the creation and implementation of the European Union’s air traffic management modernization program. He has held several managerial posts in French civil aviation and at Eurocontrol, and in 2013 was named to lead EASA.

Jointly hosted by NBAA and EBAA, EBACE serves as Europe’s premier showcase for business aviation, while also providing an important venue to continue the vital dialogue between regulatory authorities, business leaders and other stakeholders.

EBACE2016 will feature static displays of more than 50 business aircraft of all sizes. In addition, the convention will draw a variety of manufacturers, aircraft completion specialists, sales and financing professionals, and service and maintenance providers.

In addition to serving as a key industry trade event, EBACE2016 will also include a full roster of education sessions that will address the latest topics of concern to business aircraft operators, including discussions about initiatives to reduce the industry’s global carbon emissions, and the use of satellite-based technologies to make business aviation safer and more efficient.