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Plans for ECFAC 2014 being put in place following success of ECFAC 2013

July 22, 2013 Conferences No Comments Email Email

Following the success of this year’s European Corporate Flight Attendants Conference (ECFAC), which ran in parallel with the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, plans are already under way for the 2014 meeting.

Daniel Hulme presenting at ECFAC 2013

Daniel Hulme

The ECFAC event, supported by NBAA and EBAA, was the first conference to be led by a European steering committee chaired by Paul Milverton, Cabin Crew Training and Safety Manager for Gama Aviation Ltd, and Vice Chair Daniel Hulme, Managing Director of inflight dining experience provider Alison Price On Air.  A key agenda topic was the safe preparation and storage of inflight food.

Welcoming an audience of some 50 international based flight attendants EBACE President Brian Humphries highlighted the vital role these individuals play in the industry.  Not just for safety – and he cited the flight attendants of Flight No 1549 at Hudson,  but the important role they play in assuring well-being in flight.  “I joined Shell after 29 years in the Air Force.  We were flying to 17 countries a year and the biggest problem we had was food poisoning.  The well-being and health of business aviation passengers must be protected so they arrive in good shape – ready to do business. This important conference serves to support skills improvement, mentoring and knowledge sharing as we all constantly strive to improve our skillset,” he said.

Paula Kraft from Tastefully Yours tackled the theme and delivered a lively session on the importance of food handling.  “Just one bacteria can cause food poisoning within 90 minutes,” she said and it takes only one mistake to make you sick on board.”  Cooked meats, dairy and fruits, including freshly squeezed orange juice can all be dangerous if not stored properly and at the right temperature.  There is a legal requirement to prepare food chilled said Alison Price on Air Managing Director Daniel Hulme who stressed the importance of refrigeration.  He counselled that it is essential to establish that FBOs have the correct facilities.

ECFAC 2014 aims to build on this year’s success and plans to maximise the value of next year’s event by potentially introducing a new European location enabling more Flight Attendants to attend, adding more interactive options to the mix and widening the sponsorship opportunities to attract more companies. It is anticipated that the number of Flight Attendant delegates will at least double following the feedback. “For Flight Attendants who tend to work in isolation the symposium provided an excellent platform to discuss and debate topics that we all think about on a daily basis. Meetings like this also confirm that we are an essential part of the business aviation community and not only improve knowledge but raise awareness of our value,” said Lyndsay Grey one of the International Flight Attendants who sits on the ECFAC Committee.

Applauding the initiative NBAA President Ed Bolen commented: “This organisation is not a union, or an employment house, but a terrific initiative to share best practices among professional flight attendants.”

At the 2013 event in Geneva a total of seven presentations were made covering topics related to the general theme of ‘Making a Difference in Europe’. These included safety discussions, emergency handling, and FBO communications all of which generated active discussion. One of the most popular sessions confirmed the growing importance of communications and knowledge sharing between international Flight Attendants to better understand the challenges of cultural differences. Following the success of this debate, Hulme mirrored the presentation at this year’s NBAA Flight Attendants conference in Washington this month when he discussed the topic of how to handle in-flight catering orders from India, a growing Business Aviation market. Galley design which featured at the end of the day also stimulated debate as Design Q, Director, Howard Guy, presented the potential for the future of interior aircraft and galley design which he said needs to be efficient, stylish and practical.

Commenting on the success of this year’s Symposium, Daniel Hulme said:  “We were extremely pleased with the attendance and feedback we’ve received from delegates. In mirroring the success of the NBAA Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians conference in Washington, we are working to make some small adjustments to the format and content for 2014. We’re hoping to arrange an even better event. Watch this space! ”

Daniel is currently offering a number of limited sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 European Corporate Flight Attendant’s Conference.  Please contact him at daniel@apoa.co.uk for further details.

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