EBAA remembers Fernand François: A passionate advocate for business aviation

EBAA grieves the loss of Fernand François, a dedicated leader and unwavering advocate for Business aviation in Europe...

EBAA mourns the loss of Fernand François, a thoughtful leader and a firm advocate for Business aviation in Europe who had a lasting impact on our association, contributing decisively to making EBAA the powerhouse organisation that it is today.

François’s journey into the world of aviation began unexpectedly. He started his career as a graphic designer, running an advertising agency in Brussels. However, fuelled by his passion for aviation, he started to take flying courses in 1970 and ventured into publishing Avianews International, a full-colour aviation magazine covering commercial and military aviation, as well as defence and space technology, in 1972.

In 1988, François recognised the untapped potential of Business aviation in Europe and launched BART International. BART, an acronym for Business Aviation Real Tool, was a magazine dedicated to promoting Business Aviation across the continent. Continuing in his pioneering journey for business aviation, he established The Aerospace Resource Group in 1992, a consulting office dedicated to the development of business Aviation in Europe.

In 1993, François took on the role of Chief Executive at EBAA, a then-small association with limited membership and budget. Through his efforts, he steered the association towards steady growth, doubling its membership by enhancing services, such as organising EBAA’s Annual Convention for its members. Among his most notable achievements was his visionary role in creating the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). François furthered a joint venture with NBAA to officially launch EBACE at Geneva Airport in 2001.

Holger Krahmer, EBAA Secretary General, reflected on François’s passing, stating: “EBAA owes a great deal to Fernand François. His legacy will guide us and inspire our commitment to strengthening EBAA as the leading business aviation association in Europe. By following in his footsteps, we pledge to pursue his vision of business aviation as an indispensable business tool that creates economic opportunity and societal value’’.