At the first session of the conference the out-going President of ERA, Marc Lamidey, and Simon McNamara, Director General ERA, then gave a presentation on the state of the industry. While Lamidey noted that the aviation industry is anything if predictable he added that he is very positive about the future of both the regional airline industry and ERA and their ability to adapt to adverse situations.
McNamara was also realistic about the issues facing regional aviation in Europe. However, he, too, was positive about the future of ERA and its members. McNamara said that ERA is stepping up its game and will continue to defend and support the industry.
Passenger rights, crew flight time limitations, air traffic management and emissions trading continue to cause frustrations, noted McNamara but, he continues, ERA will continue to lobby hard for its members on these issues.
While conceding that the ahead road might be challenging for regional aviation, McNamara was very clear that both ERA and its members have a great future and that working together is key to success.
The second session focused on aviation’s rapid evolution and its enormous contribution to Europe’s economy through €475bn and more than 7.8m jobs. However, the key, as was discussed in the session was how to sustain this remarkable industry in the face of increased regulation and competition.
Key to a sustainable future, discussed panel members Jesper Rungholm, Cathal O’Connell, Frank Brenner, Philippe Micouleau and Michael Standar is the continual development of an intelligent and efficient infrastructure system and a belief among decision makers that investment is crucial.
The final day of ERA General Assembly 2013 provided a fantastic close to the conference. Members attending the AGM were delighted to hear the news that Boet Kreiken, managing director of KLM Cityhopper,has been appointed as the new President of ERA. A popular member of the ERA board, Kreiken has held several management positions at KLM across commercial and global account and pricing and revenue.
The news that Martin Isler, member of the executive management board of the Luxair Group has been re-elected Vice-President of ERA was also a popular decision and members were also pleased to welcome Laurent Pierre from Snecma to an Associate 1 position, Tony Whitty from Cabot Aviation to Affiliate Category II and Bernard Lavelle from London City Airport to Associate Category III.
Simon McNamara, Director General of ERA, said that he is very much looking forward to working with Boet and other board members as ERA’s future strategy is rolled out. The decision to invite Doreen Welsh, senior flight attendant on US Airways Flight 1549, to speak about the Miracle on the Hudson, was an incredibly popular choice. Delegates were glued to their seats as Welsh recounted the events of the day until the end of the speech when the flight attendant received an unprecedented standing ovation.
Text provided by ERA (eraa.org)