Nearly 400 delegates, including representatives from Embraer Asia Pacific, met at the 11th annual convention of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia in Coolum, Queensland, from September 15 to 17.
The RAAA’s chairman, Michael Bridge, Chief Executive Officer of Airnorth, a Darwin-based regional airline that operates a fleet of E120s & E170s, welcomed representatives from across the country as the association celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Fifty exhibitors, including airport authorities, manufacturers, and industry suppliers displayed product and service information adjacent to the meeting rooms. Embraer’s exhibit featured a huge map of the world showing the company’s portfolio of E-Jet customers as well as models of aircraft flying in Asia and Oceania. The social focus of the display hall was Embraer’s stand-up bar that offered freshly-made Brazilian caipirinhas.
During the formal presentation sessions, delegates were briefed on how ATM technology is evolving, the future of Australian Civil Aviation, the challenges of training, and the impact of government policies on regional aviation. Representatives from airlines and experts from leading Australian universities shared their insights on future trends in the industry.
Embraer has been in the Asia Pacific region for 32 years with 60 turboprop and jet aircraft in service. Another 75 Embraer aircraft are in flying with carriers in China. Douglas Abbey, Embraer’s Marketing Director for Asia Pacific in Singapore, remembers Embraer’s early roots in Australia. “We have a robust presence in Australia and it underscores the strength of regional aviation here.” He also cited the participation of companies associated with the industry. “Because it’s regional aviation, it’s more entrepreneurial and companies are in touch with local requirements. When I see the economic development side of councils with airports and being charged to promote aviation, it shows this is the leading edge … it’s just very encouraging to see that.”