The organisers, Quaynote Communications and Arena Group, of the debut Future Opportunities for Seaplanes and Amphibious Aviation (FOSAA) are marking its first successful event with proverbial water cannons following the meeting of industry stakeholders in Venice on 20 March.

The inaugural event confirmed the pent-up demand for an industry conference devoted to the resurging seaplane and amphibious aviation sector, as it attracted commercial stakeholders from across the industry and the world.

The one-day event welcomed delegates from Asia, Europe and the USA, bringing together the burgeoning industry under one roof in a dedicated environment.

Clear themes emerged through the moderated panels, presentations and discussions as sector entrepreneurs and experts demonstrated a determination to bring amphibious aviation out of the aerospace shadows and into the mainstream sector.

With ten prospective OEMs in the room, the potential delivered by new propulsion technology, composite materials, innovative aerospace design and the sustainable imperative was palpable, with a general agreement that moving forward together through collaboration would generate continuity and longevity.

A call for standardization in terms of global operations, passenger expectations, regulations and infrastructure requirements was also debated throughout the meeting.

Education of industry regulators, investors, and mainstream aerospace colleagues was deemed essential to change the mindset that understands the sector to be a niche industry. Representatives from aerial firefighting, commuter, experiential and tourist operations, medevac, and regional and business aviation were in attendance, confirming some of the multiple applications the sector currently serves.

The event also highlighted the opportunities presented by new and emerging markets that would optimize the benefits of sustainable amphibious airframes, welcome the associated economic stimulation and create as-yet-untapped prospects.

“We learned that amphibious aviation offers a perfect combination of flexibility, access, and secure operations that serve first and last-mile sectors, regional needs, and communities otherwise disconnected by large tracts of water,” says Lorna Titley, Director Quaynote Communications, the conference organizer. “With more than 70% of the planet covered in water and millions of miles of coastline and river attracting communities, cities and metropolises, there is no doubt that as we look to the future, this group of professionals will add a vital new offering to the global air transport network. This event gave industry stakeholders the first opportunity they have ever had to come together and discuss what’s needed to progress and fulfil the potential. The feedback we’ve had has been incredibly positive.”

The first event was oversubscribed, with delegates demonstrating their enthusiasm and engagement through consistent panel questions, lively networking and interest in the next outing of FOSAA, as the event has been officially named. The seeds for an industry association were sewn, orders were announced, and a new annual aviation conference is set to join the industry calendar with organizers already discussing next year’s location. “We are delighted with the response; it is even better than we could have hoped, and we have already had sponsorship requests, speaking and presentation opportunities for 2025. We’re pleased to be giving the sector a platform that is very much needed,” concludes Titley.

This year’s sponsors included connectivity provider Satcom Direct, Shinmaywa Industries of Japan, next-generation OEMs JEKTA and Elfly, industrial designer MBVision, and Aeropuerto Nicelli.

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