Top 10 Leaders In European Business Aviation

By Rupa Haria
Source: AWIN First
May 22, 2013
Credit: Geneva International Airport

Each year at EBACE, Aviation Week’s ShowNews names ten leaders that have helped shape business aviation in Europe. This year’s movers and shakers have been selected for their contribution to the growth of the industry against a continually tough economical backdrop. See Aviation Week’s ShowNews EBACE editions for full-page profiles of each of the leaders.

Dustin Dryden, CEO, Hangar8

Dustin Dryden cofounded Hangar8, based at London-Oxford Airport, in 2002. The company has more than 50 aircraft under management and employs over 300 personnel and has offices in the U.K, Nigeria, Malta, Kazakhstan and South Africa. Its managed fleet covers the spectrum of business jets from ultra long range to entry level.

“My intention is not to have the biggest fleet but to have the most profitable and well-run business. We usually add five to six aircraft per year so I would like to see the fleet grow to 60-70 aircraft over the next couple of years,” says Dryden, who owns 40% of the publicly traded company.

Gerrit Basson, Managing Director, ExecuJet Europe

Gerrit Basson, who holds the role of chief operating officer for the ExecuJet group, took on the role of managing director for the European operation in February 2013. ExecuJet’s European managed fleet, made up of mostly widebody long-range aircraft, stands at 50 and is growing. The majority of the fleet is under full management. ExecuJet’s charter business has seen double-digit growth in FBO movements and charter hours flown over the last few years.

“The focus this year is on consolidating and solidifying our position in the market, globally as well as Europe, to further establish ourselves in the market. There won’t be a lot of geographical expansion this year unless fantastic opportunities arise,” says Basson.

Joe Buckley, Business Development Manager, Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport in Ireland offers U.S. Customs and Immigration pre-clearance for passengers and crew flying to any of the 220 U.S. airports signed up to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program. On arrival, passengers are treated as domestic arrivals. Shannon is the only airport in the world to offer this service and the process of securing this special facility has been a long one, says Buckley. The airport first gained pre-clearance for business jets in 2010 but it had plenty of teething problems. “The most significant problem was the requirement from U.S. CBP that the aircraft APUs be shut down as it was thought they could interfere with their [security] equipment, but this was proven not to be the case,” explained Buckley. “The NBAA Security and Safety Council did great work with CBP and Homeland Security, and even the security equipment manufacturers were involved to prove that it wouldn’t be a problem.”

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