Press Release

EBACE Organizers Announce Trailblazing 19-Year-Old Pilot Flying Solo Around the World as Keynote Speaker for May Convention

Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 14, 2021 – Zara Rutherford, the youngest woman attempting to fly solo around the world, will be a keynote speaker on May 23 at the 2022 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2022). The announcement was made today at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and NBAA, the co-hosts of EBACE.

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EBACE2022 takes place May 23-25 in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Palexpo center and adjoining Geneva International Airport. The show will have a strong focus on sustainability, innovation, safety and networking.

“I am incredibly delighted Ms. Rutherford is joining us at EBACE2022. Her world circumnavigation flight serves as a motivation for young people and especially young women to join the ranks in aerospace education,” EBAA Chairman Juergen Wiese said. “She is a role model and stirs excitement for the future of aviation. This is what EBACE is all about.”

“Zara Rutherford is showing us the future of aviation and inspiring us all along the way,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said. “We are thrilled she is joining us in Geneva, and we look forward to hearing and learning from a real aviation trailblazer.”

Born into a family of aviators, 19-year-old Zara Rutherford is also attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight aircraft. She is attempting this extraordinary feat to promote aviation and STEM-related careers for girls and young women, and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

This remarkable journey is being flown in a Shark UL, a high-performance ultralight aircraft manufactured by Shark Aero in Slovakia. The aircraft has been specially prepared for Rutherford’s circumnavigation attempt.

Rutherford, who holds UK and FAA private pilot licenses, as well as Slovakian and French microlight licenses, started her attempt on Aug. 18 at International Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in Belgium. Heading west, she reached Alaska by late September after traveling through the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the contiguous U.S., the Caribbean, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. The remainder of her journey is expected to include Russia, Korea, Indonesia, India and the Middle East before Rutherford returns to Belgium in early December. Rutherford’s flight will span 52 countries and five continents.

Follow her journey on Instagram at @fly.zolo.

Follow her journey on Facebook at FlyZolo.

Follow her journey on Twitter at @fly_zolo.

Learn more about EBACE2022.

Watch the interview with EBAA Chairman Juergen Wiese

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