EBACE 2024 – a global stage for unveiling cutting-edge technologies and aircraft

The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is one of the most anticipated events in the aviation industry, and EBACE 2024 promises was no exception.

Scheduled to take place from May 28 to May 30, 2024, at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, EBACE 2024 brought together industry leaders, manufacturers, service providers, and enthusiasts from around the world to showcase the latest innovations and trends in business aviation.

Advanced air mobility was a major theme of this year’s show, with several start-up exhibitions, panel discussions, and two full-scale aircraft on display.

The event not only provided a platform for showcasing the latest innovations, but also fostered collaboration and knowledge sharing among industry professionals. With a strong emphasis on sustainability and digital transformation, EBACE 2024 played a crucial role in shaping the future of business aviation, driving the industry towards a more efficient, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced future.

In the recent years, sustainability has become a critical focus for the aviation industry, and EBACE 2024 highlighted this trend. With increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact, many exhibitors showcased green technologies, including sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), electric and hybrid propulsion systems, and other eco-friendly innovations. The event featured dedicated sessions and discussions on how the industry can achieve its sustainability goals and reduce its carbon footprint.

A Platform for Innovation

EBACE 2024 was a global stage for unveiling cutting-edge technologies and aircraft. From advanced avionics and eco-friendly propulsion systems to luxurious cabin interiors and state-of-the-art business jets, attendees have seen a wide array of innovations that will shape the future of business aviation. 

One of the highlights of EBACE was the static display of aircraft at the Geneva International Airport. This outdoor exhibition allows attendees to explore a wide range of business jets and aircraft up close, offering a hands-on experience with the latest models and their features. Inside the Palexpo, the exhibition hall hosted hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their products and services, from aircraft components and maintenance solutions to flight planning software and in-flight entertainment systems.

At this year’s edition, Gulfstream and Bombardier were notably absent, marking a significant shift in the event’s landscape. Both companies opted out of exhibiting to focus on different strategic priorities.

Bombardier decided to concentrate on regional events and other marketing strategies as part of its broader business plan. The company emphasized its commitment to supporting industry initiatives and collaborating with organizations like the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)​ . 

Alliance Aviation Group showed off a newly painted teal blue and white Bombardier Global 6000 at EBACE 2024. In what the company is claiming as an industry first, the exterior features a QR code that, when scanned, will display which trips taken were offset with carbon credits. The twinjet, which is being operated under the air operator certificate of Alliance Aviation Group of Ireland, sports an updated interior configured by British yacht designer Andrew Winch at EBACE 2024. Alliance Aviation Group is participating in the static display and also with Transport Malta and the Maltese Business Aviation Association.

Gulfstream’s decision also aligned with specific business objectives and followed its similar absence from the NBAA-BACE event in 2023. This indicates a strategic shift in their approach to event participation.

Even so, the QE G700 was at EBACE, due to Qatar Executive, which is proud to be the sole international commercial operator of the all-new Gulfstream G700.

 Despite their absence, EBACE 2024 maintained strong industry support and showcased significant developments in advanced air mobility, and innovative developments, particularly in sustainable aviation technologies and electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. These technologies are expected to transform urban air transportation and are on the brink of commercialization.

This year, the theme of future mobility was prominently featured through the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Showcase. This year’s event marked the first time that leading AAM companies displayed both in the Palexpo exhibit hall and on the events airport display at Geneva Airport.

Several innovative companies showcased their cutting-edge technologies.

VoltAero’s Cassio 330: This electric-hybrid certification transport vehicle was featured prominently, representing advancements in hybrid propulsion technology.

Beyond Aero’s ONE: This is the first electric business aircraft designed for hydrogen propulsion, highlighting sustainable aviation solutions. The company also completed France’s first manned flight powered entirely by hydrogen-electric technology.

Electron: Based in Rotterdam, this company showcased a 100% battery-powered aircraft for regional use and is developing an all-electric cargo plane.

Hydroplane Limited: This California-based company is developing a modular hydrogen fuel cell for various aviation applications, including general aviation and Urban Air Mobility.

Lilium Jet: Lilium at EBACE 2024 unveiled the first full-scale model of the eVTOL aircraft it plans to bring to market in 2026. 

Lilium displayed a full-scale model of their all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet. This jet uses Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) technology, aimed at enhancing efficiency and accessibility in regional aviation. Lilium also participated in panel discussions on the integration of sustainable aviation and the future of flight.

The German manufacturer is targeting business aviation companies as early adopters of the Lilium Jet, which it is offering in a four-passenger Pioneer Edition for corporate and private charter applications, as well as with a six-seat cabin for commercial regional air services. The most eye-catching feature of the mockup revealed at Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition center is the array of 30 ducted electric vectored thrust engines integrated into the Lilium Jet’s wing.

Factoring in anticipated energy reserve requirements for the all-electric vehicle, Lilium anticipates an initial maximum range of around 95 nm, but this is expected to increase as battery technology improves.

At its headquarters near Munich, Lilium is now assembling the first production-conforming examples of the aircraft as it prepares to start flight testing later this year. It has started building a certification test facility to support its work to achieve EASA approval by the end of 2025.

These exhibits and discussions at EBACE 2024 underscored the industry’s commitment to advancing sustainable and innovative aviation technologies. Several new features and innovations were introduced this year, highlighting the event’s focus on sustainability, advanced technology, and the future of aviation.

EBACE 2024 emphasized sustainability with significant discussions on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and other green technologies. Bertrand Piccard, a pioneer in sustainable aviation, stressed the importance of challenging old beliefs to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Panels discussed the rising supply and demand for SAF and showcased advances in hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The event featured the world debuts of several new aircraft. Notably, Leonardo unveiled its VIP-configured AW09 helicopter, which boasts the largest cabin in its class and advanced digital features for flight efficiency. This model reflects the latest in luxury and technical innovation in rotorcraft.

The exhibition included ultra-modern intercontinental jets, state-of-the-art avionics, and a host of high-tech small aircraft. These innovations were designed to enhance flight efficiency, safety, and the overall passenger experience​. 

Keynote sessions addressed the future of self-flying passenger aircraft, with experts emphasizing the importance of safety in these emerging technologies. There were also discussions on regulatory frameworks and the challenges of integrating these new technologies into existing airspace.

The event featured a lineup of influential keynote speakers who shared their perspectives on the current state and future of business aviation. These thought leaders addressed critical topics such as market dynamics, technological advancements, regulatory challenges, and the impact of geopolitical events on the industry. Their insights provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the factors shaping business aviation today and in the future.

This year, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, featured a distinguished lineup of keynote speakers, highlighting influential figures from various sectors of aviation and government.

Dr. Bertrand Piccard – A pioneering aviator and environmentalist, Piccard is renowned for his non-stop balloon flight around the world and his solar-powered airplane circumnavigation. As the initiator and chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, Piccard shared his insights on sustainability and innovation in aviation, including his plans for a hydrogen-powered airplane project called Climate Impulse​.

Delphine Bachmann – The State Councillor in charge of the Department of Economy and Labour for the State of Geneva, Bachmann is an advocate for environmental transition and economic efficiency. Her keynote addressed the role of Geneva in advancing sustainable business practices and supporting local businesses and citizens.

John Santurbano – The Director of the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre at EUROCONTROL, Santurbano is a leader in air traffic management and fuel-efficient airspace routing. His keynote focused on the technological advancements enhancing the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of European aviation, including the integration of drones and advanced air mobility vehicles.

These speakers provided a diverse and forward-looking perspective on the future of aviation, emphasizing sustainability, innovation, and efficient management within the industry.

EBACE 2024 thus served as a platform for showcasing cutting-edge innovations and sustainable practices, reflecting the ongoing transformation in the business aviation sector.

EBACE 2024 provided unparalleled networking opportunities for industry professionals. With a diverse range of attendees, including aircraft operators, manufacturers, government officials, and service providers, the event facilitates valuable connections and collaborations. Attendees participated in various sessions, workshops, and panel discussions led by industry experts, gaining insights into the latest market trends, regulatory updates, and best practices.

Digital transformation is a significant theme at EBACE 2024, with many exhibitors focusing on how digital technologies are revolutionizing business aviation. Innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and blockchain are being integrated into various aspects of aviation operations, from predictive maintenance and optimized flight planning to enhanced passenger experiences. The event explored how these technologies can improve efficiency, safety, and customer satisfaction in business aviation.

At EBACE 2024, Gogo Business Aviation introduced several new developments and features for their inflight connectivity solutions, focusing on their Gogo Galileo service.

Gogo showcased their global Wi-Fi service, Gogo Galileo, which leverages Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity provided by Eutelsat OneWeb. This service promises high-speed internet comparable to home or office connections, available at 40,000 feet across various aircraft sizes globally. 

Gogo Galileo aims to deliver speeds up to 195 Mbps with a lightweight, small-form antenna.

Gogo announced a partnership with ALAMO Engineering GmbH to develop a European Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Gogo Galileo HDX antenna, specifically for Cessna Citation Latitude midsize jets. This collaboration will enhance inflight Wi-Fi capabilities for approximately 400 aircraft currently in operation worldwide. The STC for the Latitude is part of a broader portfolio that includes various other aircraft models, ensuring robust and reliable connectivity across different fleets.

During EBACE, Gogo offered live demonstrations of the Gogo Galileo service on a CJ1+ aircraft at their static display. This allowed attendees to experience the high-performance inflight Wi-Fi firsthand. Additionally, Gogo plans to install the Gogo Galileo HDX system on a Bombardier Challenger 300 for flight testing, further showcasing the capabilities of their latest technology.

These advancements underscore Gogo’s commitment to enhancing inflight connectivity and meeting the increasing demand for reliable and fast internet services in the aviation industry.

In conclusion, EBACE 2024 was set to be a landmark event in the aviation calendar, offering a glimpse into the future of business aviation. Whether you are an industry veteran or a newcomer, EBACE 2024 delivers valuable insights, networking opportunities, and a first-hand look at the innovations that will define the next era of business aviation.

An article by Rucsandra Mihai – Manager Train Aviation