News & Updates

Business Aviation Conference Highlights Ireland’s Role as an Innovation Hub for Future Aviation

In a spectacular setting at Adare Manor, the Irish Business & General Aviation Association (IBGAA) hosted its second annual Business Aviation Conference on the 1st of November 2023, drawing attention to Ireland’s pivotal role in shaping the future of aviation. Minister Jack Chambers, TD, set the tone with an opening speech that praised the collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders, including Future Mobility Campus Ireland.

The conference, which featured a blend of networking and insightful panel discussions. Our COO, Dr. Wassim Derguech too part of one of the panel discussions on the evolving landscape of business aviation and innovation. Wassim discussed the crucial intersection of business aviation and groundbreaking technologies.

Wassim’s insights on the deployment of U-space services for Advanced Air Mobility resonated, particularly regarding FMCI and its partners commitment to transforming Shannon Airport into a safe and efficient hub for drone operations. ÉALÚ-AER project was the main topic of his speech where he discussed the role of ÉALÚ-AER consortium in delivering U-space services in the region. The ambitious goal includes accommodating future air taxi services, showcasing Ireland’s dedication to pioneering innovation in the aviation sector.

The question of whether Ireland is an ideal hub for aviation innovation sparked an engaging conversation among the panellists. Wassim and fellow panellists pointed to Ireland’s rich history in aviation, citing Shannon Airport’s legacy as the world’s first “modern” free-trade zone and the significance and leadership of the aviation leasing business in Ireland.
Wassim emphasized the role of the Irish Aviation Authority in championing innovation at the forefront of its strategy, highlighting Ireland’s position as a leading authority in Europe. Wassim praised the value that Shannon Airport Group brings to the region, transforming Shannon Industrial Estate into a hub of innovation for future mobility both on land and in the air.
The conference concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion on the future growth of Business Aviation in Ireland, addressing potential threats and opportunities for expansion. Panelists, including Declan Fitzpatrick (CEO at Irish Aviation Authority) and Mary Considine (CEO at Shannon Airport Group), stressed the importance of educating the next generation and shifting away from negative press to ensure the industry’s positive trajectory.
As the conference came to a close, it was evident that Ireland stands not only as a picturesque destination but also as a key player in driving innovation and sustainable practices within the global aviation landscape. The conference showcased the collaborative spirit of industry leaders and set a promising course for the future of business aviation in Ireland.


ÉALÚ-AER is one of the first European Digital Sky Demonstrators to focus on U-space and Urban Air Mobility as part of the European ATM Master Plan designed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (JU). SESAR JU aims at accelerating through research and innovation the delivery of an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Digital European Sky.


Digital Sky Demonstrators, such as ÉALÚ-AER, are high-level Technology Readiness Level (TRL 7-8) projects that are funded in collaboration with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) under the Connected Europe Facility (CEF) funding instrument.

ÉALÚ-AER partners include: FMCI (cooridnator), Collins AerospaceThe Shannon Airport GroupAvtrainDeepBlueMannaAirNav Ireland and Spright.

For more details about the project, please follow this link:

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