Business aviation is a relatively new field in central Europe with a huge growth potential for its share of the European market. Last Monday in Prague, industry leaders established the Central Europe Private Aviaition association ( CEPA) whose aim is to support and develop business aviation in the region and in so doing, underscored and strengthened the Czech Republic’s position as its hub.

CEPA is a voluntary, non-governmental and non-profit association made up of private individuals and companies, which brings together the interests of manufacturers, operators, brokers and support service providers, as well as financial, insurance and media organisations.

The Association’s primary aim is to represent its members’ interests on the national, European and international level and support the growth of private aviation in the Czech Republic and abroad. The Association will also have an educational arm in order to disseminate information about the current climate in business aviation in Central Europe, attract the attention of other operators and participate in and sponsor conferences on business aviation.

CEPA will initially focus on Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. All these countries are a potential wealth of new business for the region, providing new markets for the business aviation industry.

In the Czech Republic, private jets held only a small percentage of total flight volume until recently, and interested clients were often directed toward foreign companies who could provide the service. Today, there are 19 business jets registered in the Czech Republic. Secondly, CEPA will focus on promising markets such as Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Grossmann Jet Service, a Czech private jet operator, has become the first member of CEPA. “Based on the response we’ve received from brokers and business jet operators, it became clear that CEPA was the right step in the direction to a common goal; the development of business aviation in Central Europe,” said Chairman and founder of CEPA, Dagmar Grossmann.