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The CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP is known for a program of presentations that are right-on and to-the-point, and inspiring discussions.

Interaction between speakers and audience and among the attendees is encouraged at all times.

The CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP is a results-oriented conference. We encourage speakers to make their presentations in Town Hall Style. The objective of a town hall meeting is to give as many people as possible an opportunity to ask questions, speak, present ideas, and voice opinions, that may be further discussed. It may be an excellent opportunity find out where the concerns of the attendees lie. The speaker may give advice, suggest a solution, tell about how a comparable situation was solved elsewhere. Or the attendee's concern may be deeper explored to discover a yet unthought-of idea. Nothing is really considered to be off limits in these situations.

However, it is the speaker's prerogative to lead the session in any particular direction or to keep it within certain parameters.

Following are this year's presentations and program segments

  • Friendly Skies; liberalizing airlift in the Caribbean
  • Airlift negotiations with Caribbean governments
  • Caribbean airlift policy approaches and strategies
  • U.S. Preclearance
  • Leveraging airlift for expeditionary relief
  • Destination tourism product development
  • Re-energizing destination marketing
  • Tourism matters, so does airlift
  • Balancing passenger's growth with customer experience
  • Exclusive Luxury Tourism Summit; St.Barth
  • Airport master planning: benefits and trends
  • Heliport design and development
  • Airport challenges, opportunities and future
  • Socio-economic impact of an airport on region and community
  • Futuristic regional airport design for a profit-making concept
  • Airport positioning and marketing and hubbing strategies
  • Route planning
  • Opportunities for connecting the Caribbean to Africa through Travel and Tourism, as well as Trade, Investment and Cultural Exchange
  • Solving Caribbean job/development Issues by attracting young people to the aviation industry
  • Training Is the prerequisite investment for aviation growth and success
  • Training and mentoring to service a demanding clientele
  • Caribbean traffic growth and challenges through Air Traffic Management technologies
  • Mobile and prefabricated ATC tower systems
  • Air Traffic Control Tower tours at St.Maarten airport (SXM)
  • Flight support worldwide and In the Caribbean
  • General Aviation services in Panama, Cuba, and Guatemala
  • Aircraft registry
  • The Ideal Island aircraft
  • Putting the Caribbean on floats
  • Women in aviation
  • Presentation of Sapphire Pegasus Awards for Business Aviation

* presentations may be subject to change

The program will be formatted as follows

Day 1
Plenary Sessions and the Welcome/Awards Dinner

Day 2 and 3
Two streams of non-competing break-out sessions

Depending on what we foresee or expect to become a session with high interaction and lengthy discussions, we program sessions of 45, 60 or 90 minutes.

Some sessions may be off-campus but free transporatation will be arranged.

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Sapphire Pegasus Awards

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The Sapphire Pegasus is a trophy to honor outstanding performers in the Business Aviation sector. In separate events the Award is presented in Europe (for Europe and Middle East) and in the Caribbean (for the Caribbean and America).

This year the Sapphire Pegasus will be presented for the third time in the Western Hemisphere. During the Welcome and Award Dinner on Tuesday, June 11, eight outstanding performers will be honored with the 'Sapphire Pegasus Award for Business Aviation'.

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One stream of break-out sessions on Wednesday, June 12, the second conference day, will be held at the Grand Case Airport (SFG/TFFG) on the French side of St.Martin.
On the island, it is claimed that a "trip to Sint Maarten would not be complete without a ride aboard a Open Top Double Decker Bus," and "Enjoy the charm and part of the scenery of this dual personality island onboard the double-decker sightseeing bus, etc..." Participants of the sessions will be transported by this bus from/to our conference venue hotel Sonesta to the French airport. The bus service is sponsored by Island-Sigtseeing.com.
These sessions at Grand Case airport as well as the lunch break will be held in a unique atmosphere and different than at any other international aviation conference.
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SXM-Airport Tower visits at the conference

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One Tower for AirTraffic Control of Six Airports

Air traffic controllers at Juliana Air Traffic Services (JATS) need to be on their toes. They are responsible for airspace around Dutch and French St.Maarten which coexist on the island. It also oversees the five smaller airports on the islands of Anguilla, Saba, Saint Barth, Sint Eustatius and at Grand-Case in French St. Martin. Together the airfields come under three different civil aviation authorities: the Dutch, French and the UK. Further complexity comes because SXM falls within the San Juan Flight Information Region (FIR) overhead and to the west, and in the Piarco FIR to the east and south. This all makes for incredibly complex air traffic management. JATS can usually get aircraft entering its airspace on the ground within 12 minutes. However, in winter this can take up to 45 minutes, since there could be 15-20 aircraft inbound, adding to ground congestion at SXM. There a limited size of airspace and other fields in close proximity. Aircraft may be flying for less than 5 minutes before transiting to another airspace because the airspace is constitutionally split. While neighboring Saba and St Eustatius are governed by the Netherlands, Anguilla comes under the British CAA, and average distance from SXM before hitting another jurisdiction is between three and five nautical miles. There also is a huge mix of traffic; fast moving aircraft like a big Boeing 747-400 alongside a small Cessna 172s.

Seaplane demonstrations at the conference

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Tropic Ocean Airways will be present with one of its seaplanes for demonstration flights.
Seaplanes offer unique airlift opportunities to the Caribbean. It may be inter-island private and shared flights. Seaplane tours for visiting tourists or cruise ship passengers. They can transport owners, guests and crew directly to a yacht at sea. Yacht provisioning services may include delivery of supplies, assistance with crew rotations and non-medical emergency/unscheduled departures. In case of needed repairs, technicians and parts can be quickly flown in. Besides having the advantage of landing on water, seaplanes can use regular airport runways.
Tropic Ocean Airways is a US certificated commuter air carrier and is the largest seaplane operation on the East Coast, with operations throughout Florida, The Bahamas, and the Northeast U.S. The airline is currently expanding their network to the British Virgin Islands and Antigua & Barbuda. It is one of the fastest growing seaplane airlines in the world. Tropic Ocean Airways is the recipient of the highly-coveted ARGUS gold rating for safety and enjoys a 5-star customer service rating on TripAdvisor and Social Media.

Exclusive Summit on St.Barth

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An exclusive Summit for only 12 participants will be held on St.Barth on Thursday, June 13. Air transportation will be included.

There are lessons to be learned. St.Barth is unique in many ways. It is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean and it may have the highest standard of living. International investment and the wealth generated by tourists explain the high standard of living on the island. It doesn't want large cruise ships and it doesn't want a large airport. It just wants to sustain the same level of visitors and the same level of quality.

St. Barthélemy has about 25 hotels, most of them with 15 rooms or fewer. The largest has 58 rooms. The most expensive hotel on the island, has 12 rooms. Most places of accommodation are in the form of private villas, of which there are some 400 available to rent on the island. Weekly rentals run in the tens of thousands of US$. The island's tourism industry, though expensive, attracts 70,000 visitors every year to its hotels and villas and another 130,000 people arrive by boat (yacht). The clientele is loyal and they consider the island part of their life and part of their lifestyle.

The summit is not for the curious; it is for the serious who are interested in creating sustainable and substantial change. And on St.Barth, because it is better one day on location than a 45-minute session in a conference room.

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