EBACE 2024

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EBACE 2024, Palexpo, Geneva Cointrin Airport, Switzerland 28-30 May.

Report by Peter Davison & Colin Coulthard

Although some of the major players; notably Gulfstream and Bombardier, lacked a major presence in the static park, they continue to dominate the large business jet sector. Their is even speculation that the 2025 show, scheduled for 20-22 May 2025, might not happen in this style. However, the halls were packed with companies showcasing creativity and innovation. Problems with Brexit, global conflicts and environmental issues continue though perhaps the increasing demand for flexible and convenient airborne communication says more about the state of ‘ordinary’ commercial airline provision that requires more time at the airport than in the air.

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This year’s static display was dominated by the latest Dassault Falcons though, almost like bookends, at each end stood even larger business jets; to the east a Boeing business jet (BBJ) and to the west the latest Airbus offering, the 220CJ, just entering the market. Interestingly the passenger 220 is one of the more popular types in use in Geneva and Switzerland in general.

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A full range of smaller types were displayed. Staying with the Swiss theme the Pilatus PC24 is now well established with production facilities at Stans, near Lucerne, expanding every year whilst the very popular PC12 turboprop dominates the single engine prop market worldwide for business customers wanting direct access to smaller airports. Although selling well, the Cirrus SF50 Vision still appears a little too compact for many executives and their entourage.

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For those requiring a landing away from an airport, Airbus helicopters were showcasing their latest offerings now able to add range to convenience as well as supplying the means for the emergency and security services; a part of the business community often forgotten by those keen to criticise the sector for only serving the rich; the entire community relies on rotary wings for safety.

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Both Cessna, with a full range of small and medium types, and Embraer are now well established as major players with numerous Mustangs, Citations, Latitudes and Longitudes complementing the Phenom range both on display and at the co-located busy FBO’s on the adjacent ramps. Business Jet ground handling and support services have created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the sector; setting standards and creating employment opportunities on a massive scale.

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Primarily in the massive exhibition halls there is an increasing focus on sustainability; electric power, hydrogen fuel options and reducing emissions with the use of SAF. In 2023 there was a concentration on eVTOL personal transport but this year that seems diluted as more questions are raised about airspace congestion and personal pilot training; particularly over congested metropolitan areas.

Peter Davison

About Peter Davison

Peter Davison is an aviation author and editor from the United Kingdom.