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IBAC announces new head of industry partner program development

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) has appointed Leo Knaapen as Head of the IBAC Industry Partner Program. Knaapen retired from Bombardier in December 2022, from his position as Chief of Industry Affairs. "It is my pleasure to welcome Leo to the growing IBAC team," Director General, IBAC, Kurt Edwards said. "He brings to this new role at IBAC a depth of experience as a worldwide industry leader and an important contributor to IBAC and other key industry organizations." "Through the Industry Partner Programme, Leo will lead efforts to grow IBAC's capabilities to serve the global business aviation community at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)," Edwards said. "We are excited to have his passion and enthusiasm for business aviation, which will undoubtedly help IBAC expand our advocacy and reach for the industry." "I am excited to join IBAC and look forward to strengthening the global business aviation industry at the ICAO level whilst encouraging a broader Industry engagement across the business aviation sector," Knaapen said. "I have witnessed first-hand the important results generated by this modest team of professionals and how its diligence and expertise have quietly benefitted aircraft operators, manufacturers, and service providers." "It's now time to spread the word and build our partner base, so IBAC can accelerate the good work already underway and address emerging issues," he said. In his time with Bombardier, Knaapen established a unique function guiding Bombardier's overall engagement with civil aviation organizations while increasing its global engagement and leadership on key Business Aviation portfolios, like in air safety and environmental sustainability. He has been recognized by many organizations for his over four decades of service. He received the NBAA's Order of the Silver Scarg, the IBAC François Chavatte Award and the Canadian Business Aviation Association for his longtime leadership of CBAA's Quebec chapter. Knaapen was named one of the 20 most influential people in sustainable business aviation in 2022 by Corporate Jet Investor. "We are excited to have Leo join IBAC and look forward to working with him to build an interactive global business aviation community and advance IBAC's work at ICAO," Chairman of the IBAC Governing Board Ali Alnaqbi said. IBAC is a non-profit international trade association representing represents business aircraft operators at ICAO, the UN-specialized agency that sets the global rules for international aviation. IBAC promotes safety, advocates for access and appropriate regulation, and advances sustainability efforts. It encourages the participation and support of business aviation manufacturers, service providers, and operators as Industry Partners and Operator Affiliates.
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