EBAA: Bizav Bounces Back in Eastern Europe
Business aviation growth in Eastern Europe is bouncing back, according to the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). New data presented at EBAAπs regional forum, ≥One Europe: A Roadmap for Aligning East and West,≤ held today in Vienna showed 2010 traffic throughout Eastern Europe rose 10 percent from a year ago. Ukraine alone showed an increase of more than 20 percent. According to the Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA), traffic levels in the second half of last year were close to those seen in 2008 before the financial crisis hit. This follows a 24-percent dip in traffic levels for the region in 2009. EBAA chairman Rodolfo Baviera reported that Russian authorities are showing a willingness to reform regulations and tax structures that have discriminated heavily against business aviation. However, the forum also heard that regulatory inconsistencies among Western European states continue to be a serious problem for business aviation, as do differences between standards with Eastern Europe. Delegates complained of significant variations in how rules governing private and commercial flights are defined by national authorities in Western Europe. These inconsistencies are undermining efforts to achieve common safety standards in Europe and a level competitive playing field, according to EBAA member operators.