The 9th annual Isle of Man Aviation Conference took place on Thursday 27 June 2019. Organised by Martyn Fiddler Aviation and supported by the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, the conference attracted over 140 delegates, representing 83 companies, from 17 countries.
The conference has become a key event for all business aviation industry professionals working in regulation, finance, tax, legal, operations, ownership and management. The conference provides a venue for the discussion of aviation issues and challenges facing the industry. It aims to showcase the Isle of Man as a centre of excellence for aviation expertise and a base for which high value business aircraft can be fully supported.
The success of the Aviation Conference reflects two key Isle of Man attributes: the strength and customer service of the Aircraft Registry (6th largest business jet register in the world) and highly regulated and efficient services from the Island’s corporate service providers and advisors. The conference really showcases and reflects the Isle of Man team’s unique ethos towards business in terms of expertise, organisation, energy and charm.
Brian Richards of Sovereign Group commented: “There is one ‘must’ attend conference for me, and this is it! I have attended all 9 and look forward to the 10th.”
The conference has a continuously high delegate return rate with 236 delegates having attended the conference two times or more.
Chris Mace of Dominvs Aviation Ltd (attending his 4th consecutive year) also remarked: “This has become one of my most anticipated events in the aviation calendar. It has great content, very credible delegates from a wide range of aviation areas as well as interesting speakers and topics.”
Reflecting on this year’s conference and how the conference has evolved, Heather Gordon, Martyn Fiddler Aviation’s Legal Director, (pictured left) observed:
“We are incredibly grateful to our returning delegates; some who have been with us from the very beginning. Each year those who have been before spread the word and our newcomers often comment that they had to come and see for themselves what everyone has been talking about!
We pride ourselves on acting on our delegate’s feedback. We strive to improve the conference every year based on this; I think it’s one of the reasons the conference is such a success.”
James Moreton of Haywards Aviation praised the conferences growth stating that it has “gone from strength to strength, consistently delivering ‘on topic’ speakers and subjects”.
Feedback celebrated a high rating of 4.7 out of 5 for content. This year’s agenda took a natural focus (yet again) on the implications of Brexit and how Brexit is effecting business aviation; perspectives from various international jurisdictions on global uncertainty; and the evolution of aircraft operations in the current trading market. You can view the conference programme here.
Simon Williams, Director of Civil Aviation for the Isle of Man opened the conference with an Isle of Man Aircraft Registry update, vowing to continue to raise the profile of the Aircraft Registry amid a ‘challenging climate’ in the industry. He acknowledging that every industry has fluctuations: “currently there are trade wars, there are tariffs, political uncertainty and there is Brexit”. Williams showed robust optimism for the industry and assured the audience that it is business as usual for the M register, celebrating the fact that they had registered 22 aircraft in only a matter of a few months.
Graham Williamson, CEO of Sonas Aviation did an exceptional job as conference chair for the second year running. He was, as Michael Harris of Jet Support commended “outstanding”. The event ended with a sing song along to ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, led by the chairman and Synergy Aviation’s Dave Edwards. Please click here to see the conference video.
Following the main event, delegates were welcomed to the Rushen Abbey. Located in Ballasalla, the Abbey was originally home for monks of the Savignac order and the politically most important site on the Isle of Man in the medieval times. The Abbey served as the perfect setting to network and indulge in a little Manx heritage. Blessed with the glorious Manx sunshine delegates were able to enjoy a buffet style dinner and an alcoholic beverage outside in the venues beautiful grounds.
Over the years the conference has become famous for its unique networking opportunities. Martyn Fiddler Aviation try their best to showcase the Isle of Man’s beautiful, quaint landscape and introduce their guests to its Manx heritage. Simon Davies from Global Jet Aviation stated that “the networking events mean this is a ‘cannot miss’ event” whilst another delegate claimed the “networking is by far the best I’ve been to”.
The Martyn Fiddler Aviation team would like to pay a huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported this year’s event. We really hope everyone will join us again next year to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!
We will be releasing a date for next year’s conference shortly so do keep an eye on our conference website and follow the hashtag #iomaviationconference on LinkedIn for all the latest updates.
Watch this space…