2012 European Business Aviation Awards Presented to Eurocontrol's David McMillan and IBAC's Don Spruston

Geneva, Switzerland, May 15, 2012 – The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have announced that David McMillan, director general of Eurocontrol, and Don Spruston, director general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), are the recipients of the 2012 European Business Aviation Awards.

The honors were presented during an awards luncheon on May 14, the opening day of the 12th Annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2012), the only European exhibition focusing solely on business aviation.

McMillan and Spruston both were honored for their outstanding service to the business aviation industry.

In presenting the first award, EBAA Chairman Rodolfo Baviera stated that McMillan "has been a true friend to business aviation for a number of years."

Since McMillan became its director general in January 2008, Eurocontrol has produced a number of studies pointing to the industry’s value. As just one example, a 2009 report highlighted the fact that with business aviation, many cities have a lifeline for commerce that they would not otherwise have.

McMillan's perspectives about business aviation draw from decades working in Europe’s transportation sector. Prior to joining Eurocontrol, he held a range of posts in the UK Department of Transport, including a variety of positions focusing on domestic and international aviation policies. He also has served as vice president of the European Civil Aviation Conference and the spokesman for Europe on aviation and environment at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The second award recipient, Don Spruston, is an esteemed business aviation leader who has been responsible for shaping many of the advances in today’s business aviation industry – from best practices in safety to international flight operations – as the director general of the International Business Aviation Council from 1999 to the present.

Under Spruston's leadership, IBAC has effectively advocated for the interests and concerns of business aviation before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the global standard-setting body for civil aviation around the world.

For example, one key milestone in the history of IBAC was the development of new safety standards for Annex 6, Part 2 of the Chicago Convention governed by ICAO. That annex addresses the modernization of operational rules and safety for general aviation worldwide, and its development owes much to Spruston's leadership.

In his presentation to Spruston during the awards luncheon, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said, "Simply put, the global business aviation community would not be the same without people like Don Spruston. He has been a tremendous advocate and leader in promoting the industry’s agenda and furthering its cause."

The annual European Business Aviation Awards have been given since the inception of EBACE in 2001. Past recipients are as follows (titles and affiliations shown were current at time of award presentation): 

  • Peter Lonergan, former Biggin Hill airport director, and Richard Gaona, Comlux Aviation Group president (2011)
  • Elie Zelouf, senior vice president of Jet Aviation, and officials at Aéroports de Paris (2010) 
  • Marwan Khalek, CEO and co-founder of Gama Aviation Limited, and Lyon-Bron Business Airport (2009)
  • Mark Booth, chairman and CEO of NetJets Europe (2008)
  • Judith Moreton, Bombardier Skyjet International, and Mark Wilson, British Business and General Aviation Association (2007)
  • Geneva PALEXPO and Flight Safety International (2006)
  • TAG Aviation and Cannes/Mandelieu Airport (2005)
  • Jean-Francois Georges, Dassault Aviation, and Fernand Francois, European Business Aviation Association (2004)
  • Ahid Quntar, Royal Wings/Arab Wings, and Andrew Walters, Regional Airports Ltd. (2003)
  • Richard Gooding, London City Airport, and Jean-Pierre Jobin, Geneva International Airport (2002)
  • Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, LEGO, and Frederik Sørensen, Head of Unit, European Commission (2001)

For more information, Twitter feeds and a downloadable EBACE app, visit the EBACE2012 site.

About EBAA: The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) was founded in 1977 to defend the interests of business aviation. Today, more than 500 business aviation companies (direct members or members of associate organizations) rely on the EBAA to protect their business interests. It is the only voice to represent business aviation among the European institutions. For more information, visit www.ebaa.org.

About NBAA: Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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