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European Airshow Convention 2011
Behind every airshow, airshow performer, aerobatic team and air event you have a team of dedicated people; mechanics, pilots, regulators, organizers, media etc... Once a year all these man and women that create the airshows across Europe and the Middle East gather in Belgium to mark the real start of the new airshowseason. Welcome to the European Airshow Convention 2011!

For the first time the European Airshow Council hosted the convention in Brussels, as the spaces available in the traditional location, Hasselt – Belgium, had become too small to cope with the strong increase in attendance from all over Europe, the Middle East and the USA. Altogether the convention welcomed 260 delegates from 28 different nations!

Old friends were meeting again, and new friends were welcomed in the airshow community. The convention is the ideal place for new performers to meet with organizers and vice versa. Many new display pilots gathered, as both the Turkish and Greek F-16 demo pilots or the delegation of the Pakistan Air Force, as their national team 'The Sherdils' will make their European debut this airshowseason.

European Airshow Convention 2011
After the introduction by the EAC Chairman, Gilbert Buekenberghs, the convention was traditionally opened by one of the legendary airshowpilots. This year we had the honor of welcoming Jacques 'Red' Dewaelheyns, former leader of the historic 'Red Devils' aerobatic team of the Belgian Air Force. A first lecture on aerobatic team management was given by Lt. Col Bruno Bezier from the French Air Force. An inside view in the growth of central European airshows was presented in lectures by Zbynek Pavlacik – driving force behind the NATO Days in Ostrava – and Fekete Robert, organizer of the Kecskemet International Airshow. This fantastic event in Hungary was also awarded the Paul Bowen Trophy for best European Airshow 2010. Col. Ian Logan from the Swiss Air Force gave the delegates a preview on the upcoming giant airshow 'Payerne 2014'.
The EAC convention is of course a lot more then a series of highly interested lectures. It's thé ideal place for everyone in the airshow community to expand their network, to meet new organizers, new performers and ultimately conclude new agreements. Many airshowcalendars are filled up right here...

The new HUSA hotel in Brussels provided all participants with the well-known relaxed and friendly atmosphere, for sure a pleasant way of presenting your business and very appreciated by all delegates!

European Airshow Convention 2011
The afternoon lectures were focused on the safety aspect of airshows, the human element remains a key issue here. General Des Barker, test & displaypilot from South Africa presented the safety review of the 2010 display season. Dr. Steve Jarvis from Cranfield University was welcomed again for a lecture on 'In control or in danger? When the 'wrong decision' becomes the 'intuitive decision'. Also back by request was Dr. David Stevenson from the Centre of Aviation Medicine in the UK to clarify the fatigue factors in an airshow organization. From the USA, John Cudahy ( Chairman of ICAS – International Council of Airshows ) informed the delegates about their Safety Management Initiative. After these four very appreciated lectures a Q&A session was set up with this expert panel to discuss safety subjects with input and participation of the audience.
European Airshow Convention 2011
European Airshow Convention 2011
Another highlight of the 2011 convention was the presentation of the very first EAC Airshowguide, all delegates received a copy. As this guide certainly will grow into the 'yellow pages of the airshow community', everybody who is involved in airshows ( from A – Airboss to Z – Zlin Acro Duo ) is more the welcome to send their information to the EAC.
European Airshow Convention 2011
Of course the convention is also well-known for its famous Airshow Dinner, an informal evening and ideal moment for the awards. The Chairman Award was received by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight team from the RAF. In a very special moment the Chairman himself, EAC founder Gilbert Buekenberghs, was honored with a unique trophy for his lifelong contribution to the airshow community worldwide.
European Airshow Convention 2011
The traditional awards on best promotional material for airshow performers went to O-Briens Flying Circus and the Antonov 2 Flying Club, both from the UK and the brand new Bronco Demo Team from Belgium. On the airshow side the best promotional material was recognized in the NATO Days in Ostrava ( Czech Republic ), the upcoming 100th anniversary airshow in Izmir ( Turkey ) and the Bournemouth Air Festival ( UK ).
Saturday morning the delegates were given an inside view into the complex planning of the RAF Red Arrows by their Team Manager Sq. Ldr. Graeme Bagnall. The challenges in aerobatic team management in difficult times were highlighted by Alberto Moretti, former Team Manager of the Frecce Tricolori. The convention lectures of 2011 were closed by presentations on tips and expert advice in different aspects of air events; Swiss race pilot Vito Whyprachtiger gave a 'lessons learnt' from Formula One airracing and airshow in both the USA and Europe. Tom Gibbons, RIAT Ramp Manager talked about managing de-confliction while Daniel Ventura highlighted a complete different angle in 'how to use the internet to improve your airshow'. Finally Adrian Campbell of Planes TV gave the audience his Top 10 tips on how to please the crowds at airshows.
The 2011 EAC convention was once again an incredible success, with valuable experiences shared amongst its members from the USA, Europe, South Africa to the Middle East. If you are interested in airshows in its broadest range, no other place in the world can bring you more contacts and opportunities then these 3 days in February. As the convention becomes bigger every year, we would like to inform you that the next edition will take place in Brussels, Belgium in the same hotel on February 23 – 25, 2012. We kindly invite you to visit www.european-airshow.com for more information and registration.
European Airshow Convention 2011

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