BizAvIndia – Connecting the Business Aviation Community
With BizAvIndia promoting growth of the business aviation industry in such an exponential manner, it is only fair to give it the importance it deserves
In 2011, the Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), came into being and soon the nascent organisation realised that "opinion management" was a fundamental role of the association. Since its initiation, the association has been battling hard with regulators while it is continually promoting more operators to become members. As a strategy to promote awareness and generate opinion-based discussions, BAOA embarked upon the concept of BizAvIndia. Two projects were simultaneously instituted, viz, a joint venture with SP Guide Publications to publish a quarterly magazine with articles from experts, BAOA members and others and the second project—a Seminar-cum-awards Function, to be held on the sidelines of air shows in India.
BizAvIndia magazine find its way to many places, one amongst them is the bureaucracy or the relevant minister's office where it is hoped it is read, either when the bureaucrats or ministers find time, while in office or when on travel. It is in reception lounges of corporate offices and other relevant organisations, for some budding investor/CEO to read and be inspired to support ideas. Notwithstanding, it encourages aviation professionals to think. Unless we think, no change is possible. As Albert Einstein once said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
With regard to the second project – BizAvIndia Seminar—it brings together professionals of the industry from domestic and international arena, on one common platform. Many of these professionals are looking for a council or an industry body to help crystallise their ideas or overcome more rooted industry problems. BAOA is trying to fulfil this need by providing the much needed opportunities to share information and ideas that impact the business aviation segment in the world, especially India. What emerges from these seminars are a list of 'To Do' tasks for the industry…for the manufacturers, trip support advisors, MRO operators, STC (supplemental type certificate) seekers, service providers, operators, international business aircraft association members, and, most importantly, for the regulators.
Many HR pundits have opined that adrenalin levels in business needs to be regularly pumped to keep the industry active, bubbling and competitive. And to that we have introduced awards, while bringing in excitement, we are conferring recognition and worth among the industry. It ensures a valuation process that promotes performance, both at individual and collective levels.
We hope the members of BAOA become the public advocates of this initiative and promote the magazine and the 'seminar-cum-awards' amongst the business aviation fraternity. By airing their views freely, contributing with their ideas, and striving for aviation excellence, they would soon become catalysts to bring in the much desired growth of business aviation in India.
This March 2016, the BizAvIndia conference was focused on three topics:
- Session 1: New National Civil Aviation Policy. With the new National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) being formalised by the Indian Government, business aviation in the region is hopeful of some long-term reforms that will provide a fillip to growth. This session presented a platform to ideate and discuss various aspects of India's business aviation industry, through the prism of the new policy.
- Session 2: Growth Opportunities & Innovation. The Indian business aviation industry is gradually moving towards consolidation as new concepts and technologies come to surface. This is increasing the scope of the sector, while creating opportunities for growth and innovation. Therefore, the session focused on the rapidly evolving landscape through concepts such as Aircraft Management and Fractional Ownership business models, Foreign Direct Investment framework, Online Demand Aggregation, Medical Evacuation and others. The session deliberated on how the Indian industry could benefit from these concepts.
- Session 3: Infrastructure for Business Aviation in India. Business aviation in India has grown rapidly post the liberalisation era. However, its infrastructure has not kept pace with this growth. The session discussed ways and means to bring focus on enabling adequate infrastructure for business aviation.
This year's awards were presented by BAOA in partnership with Bombardier Business Aircraft. The winners were adjudicated by a jury comprising of Kapil Kaul, CEO, CAPA India; Amber Dubey, Head-Aerospace & Defence, KPMG; Dhiraj Mathur, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Anthony Cox, Director, Customer Support-Asia Pacific, Bombardier Business Aircraft, based on various benchmarks and criteria conferred by BAOA. The award winners were:
- The BizAvIndia Operator of the Year award went to Global Vectra Helicorp Limited in the large fleet category and Poonawalla Aviation Pvt Ltd in the small fleet category, which was based on quantum of flying, complexity of aircraft and operations, safety record, humanitarian effort and other parameters.
- The BizAvIndia Award for Innovation was given to JetSetGo Aviation Services Pvt Ltd for its efforts in expanding business aviation markets and improving efficiencies through use of Internet.
- The BizAvIndia Hall of Fame was bestowed upon Captain S.S. Majithia, Chairman, Saraya Group for his relentless contribution towards the growth of India's business and general aviation sector.
- A special recognition was conferred to Ravi S. Menon, Executive Director of Air Works India (Engineering) Pvt Ltd, for meritorious service to the industry for over 45 years.
Business Aviation Academy proposal
A beginning has been made and a platform has been set. One may judge the popularity of the seminar and awards by the impressive increase in footfall, up from 175 in 2015 to 250 in 2016. This also resulted in sponsorships for the BAOA to take up further initiatives for the growth of the industry. For instance, after the successful culmination of BizAvIndia seminar and awards function this year a dream project has been initiated, to open a Business Aviation Academy, a one-stop solution to small operators to train their crew and carry out some of their operational expenditure at much lower costs than what they have been incurring. This would help the industry to not only economise, but also would ensure a commonly agreed and accredited standard of professionalism in the industry. It would set up a base for higher learning in aviation, perhaps offering specialised and research opportunities to aspirants who wish to make a mark in this industry, but are now going to schools like Embrey Riddle for the lack of an Indian institution.
With BizAvIndia promoting growth of the business aviation industry in such an exponential manner, it is only fair to give it the importance it deserves. We hope the members of BAOA become the public advocates of this initiative and promote the magazine and the 'seminar-cum-awards' amongst the business aviation fraternity. By airing their views freely, contributing with their ideas, and striving for aviation excellence, they would soon become catalysts to bring in the much desired growth of business aviation in India.