By Roman Kok, Senior Communications Manager European Business Aviation Association  © EBAA

In 2024, Holger Krahmer, the newly appointed Secretary General of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), steps into his role with a blend of pride and solemnity. This year’s horizon is marked by potential upheaval, with the business aviation sector under keen observation amidst pivotal changes in the European political landscape. The elections to the European Parliament and the reformation of the European Commission are set to usher in a climate that could be more conducive to business, an anticipation that stirs both optimism and uncertainty within the business aviation community.

The focal point of the EU’s agenda, the Green Deal, now calls for economically sustainable approaches to achieving Europe’s ambitious climate objectives. The ramifications of this policy shift on business aviation, a sector scrutinized for its environmental footprint, remain a subject of keen speculation.

Krahmer articulates a crucial insight: the treatment of business aviation by politicians is a barometer for the broader entrepreneurial environment in Europe. The discourse surrounding the outright ban of business aviation is emblematic of a broader ideological clash that pits environmental concerns against the principles of economic freedom and progression. In this context, the EBAA’s mission gains unprecedented significance as the advocate and guardian of business aviation interests in Europe. The association’s role extends beyond mere representation; it is the linchpin in bridging the dialogue between the industry and policymakers, ensuring the sector’s contributions to regulatory pragmatism, connectivity, and innovation are acknowledged and championed.

Amidst the political and environmental scrutiny, the EBAA is poised for a transformative journey in 2024, with a strategic pivot away from reliance on event revenues towards a magnified emphasis on member value. The association’s calendar is marked by pivotal events like EBACE, AIROPS, the Safety Summit, and the European Business Aviation Summit (EBAS), which promise vibrant platforms for dialogue and collaboration.

Central to the EBAA’s advocacy is the advancement of policy priorities that underpin operational excellence. A significant thrust will be placed on endorsing the book-and-claim system for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), a move aimed at greening the industry’s operations. Concurrently, the EBAA will champion the long-overdue implementation of the Single European Sky initiative, a critical step towards enhancing operational efficiency across the continent. Advocacy efforts will also focus on securing equitable regulatory frameworks that ensure fair access to airspace and airports for business aviation, a critical factor in the sector’s growth and sustainability.

As Krahmer takes the helm of the EBAA, his vision is clear: to steer the association and the industry through the challenges of the present while seizing the opportunities of the future. His leadership is underscored by a call to unity and resolve within the EBAA community, a collective endeavor to uphold and advance the cause of business aviation in Europe amidst a landscape of change.