Africa launches its own Business Aviation Association
The business aircraft community in Africa has launched the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) to raise safety and operational standards and to create a single voice to lobby the continent's regulators.
"Africa's business aviation community will have a unified voice to relay its importance to the continent's drive for growth and prosperity" said Tarek Ragheb, the founding chairman of AfBAA, at the official launch.
Ragheb was also involved in the formation of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).
Ragheb said the goal is to make AfBAA an asset that is recognised, valued and supported by governments, their respective civil aviation authorities, and enterprises throughout Africa."
The new association is applying to become a member of business aviation group umbrella organisation the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC).
Until now, Africa has not been served by any single group but through two regional associations.
Jack Olcott, the former president of the US National Business Aviation Association, is acting as an adviser for the creation of the association.
"We don't see the African Business Aviation Association as competition with other groups, but rather as a collaboration," Olcott said.
The AfBAA has 13 of a 15-member board in place. Members hail from across the continent and representing manufacturers, operators and suppliers.
"It is an exciting moment for Africa's business aviation" said board member Alcinda Pereira from Angolan FBO Bestfly. "It will take time but it is worthwhile."