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FT Business of Aerospace & Aviation Summit

Bringing digital disruption to the industry

London |
Speakers include:
John  Walton

John Walton

Runway Girl

Rohit Talwar

Rohit Talwar

Stephany  van Willigenburg

Stephany van Willigenburg

Google UK


It is an exciting time for the aviation industry. The latest developments in big data analytics, real-time monitoring, connectivity, avionics, autonomy and automation are continuing to demonstrate value to airlines, airports, ANSPs, OEMs, suppliers and passengers.

However, aviation stakeholders seeking to push the boundaries of digital innovation opportunities must also adapt to an evolving regulatory landscape, finite airspace restrictions, emerging and disruptive technologies, uncertainty around the IoT landscape and an increasingly complex and connected passenger.

Join us in London to hear thought leaders, industry experts and C-Level executives explore the future outlook for digitilisation of the civil aviation landscape.

fallback Add to my Calendar 04/25/2017 08:00:0004/25/2017 17:30:00trueFT Business of Aerospace & Aviation SummitIt is an exciting time for the aviation industry. The latest developments in big data analytics, real-time monitoring, connectivity, avionics, autonomy and automation are continuing to demonstrate value to airlines, airports, ANSPs, OEMs, suppliers and passengers.However, aviation stakeholders seeking to push the boundaries of digital innovation opportunities must also adapt to an evolving regulatory landscape, finite airspace restrictions, emerging and disruptive technologies, uncertainty around the IoT landscape and an increasingly complex and connected passenger.Join us in London to hear thought leaders, industry experts and C-Level executives explore the future outlook for digitilisation of the civil aviation landscape.FT-Business-of-Aerospace-&-Aviation-Summitc6bf6acaa3654c7bea9c899d50db4048MM/DD/YYYY

Key Themes

The industry is in a rapid phase of development with a number of digital transformation and innovation projects being rolled out across air traffic management (ATM), airlines, airports and within the design and manufacturing process; with a view to developing a connected industry, gaining a competitive edge and a key for future growth. It has been predicted that 25% of all aircraft will be unmanned by 2050, therefore it is critical for the the commercial aviation supply chain to understand how to prepare for and benefit from the integration of this new generation of aircraft.

The approach to passenger experience is changing significantly due to new technologies and expectations in the form of customisation. The “connected traveller” is a concept that has been embraced by the industry, with many airlines and airports developing apps to enhance passenger journey. Companies will have to ensure all departments are ready to collaborate and lead digital transformation strategy across the business. 

Key challenges include integration across legacy systems, getting underlying architecture right, interoperability, business resilience and managing vast amounts of data in a meaningful way in order to achieve optimal efficiency and performance.


Agenda - 25th Apr

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Networking
  • 9:00am
    Opening Remarks

    Peggy Hollinger, Industry Editor, Financial Times


  • 9:10am
    Opening keynote: Exponential, digital and augmented - The next horizon for global airlines

    Global aviation futurist, entrepreneur and award winning speaker - Rohit Talwar, will highlight the potential for exponential growth presented by the next wave of disruptive ideas enabled by emerging technologies. This will include:

    • How digital mindsets are redefining strategies and business models every sector
    • Which core technologies will reshape economies, business, passenger expectations, and travel industry strategies
    • Harnessing game changing innovations to drive step change improvements in airline performance

    Rohit Talwar, Global aviation futurist, strategic advisor and entrepreneur

  • 9:35am
    Innovation snapshot: What will be the new Airbnb of the skys?

    Three leading cross-sector innovators will gather to share the latest market trends, emerging technologies and innovations in consecutive live interviews to help determine what’s next for the aviation industry and what this could mean for the whole travel value chain.

    Innovation in operational efficiency and big data: Jim Daily, Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, GE Aviation

    Innovation in aviation customer service: Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Ryanair

    Innovation in online customer acquisition and marketing: Stephany van Willigenburg, Senior Industry Head  - Travel, Google UK

  • 10:10am
    360 degree panel: Where are digital technologies headed and what impact is there likely to be on passenger and air traffic?

    Digital transformation is happening so rapidly that traditional business models are being challenged, especially in aviation which has long lead times in terms of aircraft or airport development. This discussion between prominent civil aviation leaders from an airline, airport, air navigation service provider (ANSP) and OEM will take a practical approach to how to translate innovative capabilities and opportunities within, and outside of, the industry. Whilst it is accepted that there is huge room for expansion with tremendous advantages and risks, are we prepared for digital transformation?

    This session will start with a brief introduction and overview of the topic from Tony Payne, Partner, DLA Piper

    Then panel will consider and discuss:

    ● How can innovation enable and drive change to corporate vision and strategy?
    ● How can the industry move from disruption to adoption to achieve innovation in the aviation sector?
    ● How can the innovative capabilities and business opportunities of the unmanned aircraft market be promoted to extract the value?
    ● How will the industry respond to increasing challenges, collaboration and regulation?
    ● What is required in order to hire and attract a workforce who will support us in taking advantage of these technologies?

    Stuart Birrell, CIO, Heathrow Airport Limited

    Jean-Christophe Lalanne, Executive Vice-President Information Technology, Air France-KLM

    Klaus Meier, CIO and Technical Director, Skyguide

    Richard Bonner, Partner, DLA Piper

  • 10:55am
    Morning break


  • 11:25am
    Digital aviation dialogue: Reviewing infrastructure investment challenges and opportunities

    One of the biggest challenges in developing and investing in infrastructure is that it must be forward-thinking, future proof and flexible. A 3-way dialogue between the FT chair and two prominent aviation industry leaders will discuss solutions to these challenges, and how to enable new business opportunities and achieve optimal infrastructure performance and efficiency to extract the value.

    Florian Guillermet, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking

    John Dabkowski, VP - Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group

  • 12:00pm
    360 degree panel: Converging functions and capabilities to leverage integrated IT infrastructure networks

    ● How will interconnected networks continue to optimise operational decision-making capabilities?
    ● What is the future for virtual control centres and how can the technology be ramped up for higher activity locations?
    ● How can infrastructure evolve to cater for new autonomous vehicles?
    ● How can the impact of interruptions of service be mitigated digitally to achieve resilience and agility?
    ● What will be the impact on interoperability complexity and cost with devices and protocols rapidly changing?
    ● As disruptive technologies continue to change rapidly, how can the industry and regulators keep pace?
    ● How do we meet the need to change business processes to be more nimble and responsive to incoming IoT intelligence?

    Simon Daykin, Chief Architect & Head of Service Design, NATS

  • 12:45pm


  • 1:45pm
    In conversation with the FT

    John Walton, leading aviation journalist, will share his perspective on how the industry can create the connected traveller by improving the passenger experience along the journey. It will explore if meaningful and valuable engagement with passengers can still be achieved in an increasingly interconnected world. In addition, as the traveller experience continue to be greatly enhanced, which areas are actually important to passengers?

    John Walton, Contributing Editor​, Runway Girl

  • 2:10pm
    Digital aviation dialogue: Understanding how to monetise passenger-centric technologies

    A 3-way dialogue between the FT chair and two prominent aviation industry leaders will debate how end-to-end digital innovation will impact and contribute to the connected traveller. In addition, it will discuss how various stakeholders can be aligned to benefit all parties and create a seamless transitional journey experience.
    To discuss the following:
    ● Which technology upgrades can boost passenger satisfaction beyond Wi-fi and check-in procedure improvements?
    ● Which mobile applications will be the most important to develop and invest in?
    ● What opportunities are there for wearable technologies to enhance the passenger experience?
    ● How can systems adapt to match evolving passenger expectations, needs and requirements?
    ● As data sharing from passengers increases, how can this benefit businesses, build brand loyalty and gain the competitive edge?

    Marcus Casey, VP Personalised Customer Experience, Analytics and Data Management, Lufthansa

    Don Langford, Senior Vice President, Technology, Virgin Atlantic

  • 2:45pm
    360 degree panel: Keeping things moving - How can the Internet of Things (IoT) revolutionise and streamline passenger facilitation?

    ● What are the benefits brought by enhanced connectivity to air carriers, airports, passengers and the broader economy?
    ● What elements are required to achieve a seamless transitional airport experience?
    ● How will the checkpoints of the future or traveller identification programmes facilitate seamless transfers from one carrier to another? How can airlines maximise strategic alliances?
    ● Within the airport, which technologies could help passengers navigate their surroundings, identify themselves at check-in, lounge or boarding areas or track objects such as baggage and cargo?
    ● What impact will development of sensors have on managing and improving passenger stress-points
    across the journey?
    ● What are the next step for airports and social media and which platforms should we be investing in?
    ● How can we prevent the individualisation of passenger travelling processes from pushing prices up?

    Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport

    Philip Easter, Head - Mobile Apps & Wearables, American Airlines


  • 3:30pm
    In conversation with the FT

    Following the shift in analytics from diagnostic to predictive, a leading data scientist will review how real-time monitoring and analysis could enhance consistency of service by maximising availability and efficiency of aircraft assets. In addition, they will review some of the key challenges including the operational impact, required skills and cost for managing big data and systems.

    Patrik Forsström, Head of Business Intelligence Competency Centre, Information Technology, Cathay Pacific Airways

  • 3:55pm
    360 degree panel discussion: How can big data and higher levels of autonomy be leveraged by rethinking ROI?

    ● What opportunities does advanced big data analytics present in a commercial context and how can it be harnessed effectively to drive business profitability and revenue?
    ● How can big data contribute to smarter infrastructure and architecture to drive behaviours?
    ● How can big data and autonomous technology be combined to optimise levels of productivity?
    ● How can this be optimised in new and different ways to achieve the best outcomes? Who owns that data?
    ● How can collection of data sets influence optimise the performance across an entire fleet?

    Glyn Jones, CEO, Stobart Aviation / London Southend Airport

    John Lyons, Director of Innovation, Dublin Airport

    Eric Nantier, Director - Operations Research and Air Traffic Management, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.

    Annelise Bremme, Co-Founder & COO,

  • 4:40pm
    Closing keynote: How do we combine emerging technologies and capabilities to create the ultimate passenger experience (and over what timescale)?

    ● What are potential barriers and opportunities in passenger engagement at every stage of their journey?
    ● What opportunities does big data present in a commercial context and how can it be harnessed effectively?
    ● How could big data and analytics change services we provide to passengers and can it result in higher threats or enable new service opportunities or add more value?
    ● How could increased sharing of passenger data profit aviation businesses?
    ● If biometrics are key for creating a seamless travel experience, how can we develop the architecture and infrastructure to support this and what are the biggest obstacles?
    ● How will the development of autonomous technology impact services for passengers?

  • 5:00pm
    Closing remarks

    Robert Wright, US Industry Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 5:15pm
    Drinks Reception

Speakers (23)

John  Walton

John Walton

Contributing Editor
Runway Girl

John Walton, an international journalist, pens a dedicated Opinion and Analysis section of RGN called Up Front. He specialises in cabin interiors, seating, connectivity, and premium class service.

A keen analyst of how developing tools can be applied to aviation news, John is at the forefront of social media in the aviation sector, broke the hijacking of flight ET702 on Twitter (@thatjohn), and continues to work at the bleeding edge of newsmaking.

John’s interest was sparked during a life of shuttling around the world on Boeing 747-100 and -200 aircraft, and he remembers with fondness the days when bored pilots and cabin crew didn’t mind an inquisitive teenager hanging around in cockpits and galleys asking questions.

Formerly resident in New York, London, Beijing, Bristol and Wellington, John was previously Director of Data at Routehappy and deputy editor at Australian Business Traveller. He holds an MA (Honours first class) in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.

Rohit Talwar

Rohit Talwar

Global aviation futurist, entrepreneur and award winning speaker

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist who works with airlines, airports, governments, Fortune 500 companies, investors, and industry bodies in over 70 countries. He focusses on helping leadership teams understand emerging developments, embrace disruptive innovation and drive breakthrough performance improvements.

Stephany  van Willigenburg

Stephany van Willigenburg

Senior Industry Head - Travel
Google UK

Stephany van Willigenburg has worked at Google for over 12 years. Currently she is a Senior Industry Head responsible for working closely with Google's largest UK travel clients as well as their agencies. Advising on developing digital, social, mobile & display strategies, supporting market leading brands to capture maximum value out of their relationship with Google. Previously, she held various positions within Google including New Product & Solutions Industry Manager, and Business Development Manager for Mobile. Stephany started her Google career in the Zurich sales office, managing key Google accounts in the Swiss and Austrian markets. Prior to her career at Google Stephany has worked for management consultancy Arthur D. Little, and Elan IT. Stephany is a graduate of Babson College, Boston, with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

Florian  Guillermet

Florian Guillermet

Executive Director
SESAR Joint Undertaking

Since April 2014, Florian Guillermet has been leading the SESAR Joint Undertaking as Executive Director. In June 2008, he joined SESARJU, first as Chief Programme Officer to manage the SESAR Programme, and then as Deputy Executive Director Operations and Programme in 2012. 

Mr. Guillermet has been working in the field of civil aviation for 15 years, starting in the flight planning department of Air France, before going on to the French Air Navigation Service Provider (DSNA), where he held several managerial positions. He then joined the European Central Flow Management Unit at Eurocontrol, where he contributed to a range of operational and IT projects. His experience ranges from ATM systems definition and implementation, to network operations management.

Florian Guillermet is an engineering graduate from École Polytechnique and the Civil Aviation Engineering School in France and holds a Master’s degree in aeronautics and airport management.

Don Langford

Don Langford

Senior Vice President, Technology
Virgin Atlantic

Don Langford is Senior Vice President, Technology and is responsible for leading Virgin Atlantic’s technology team. Don oversees all of the technology initiatives which are key components for positioning Virgin Atlantic for future success, including the biggest business and technology transformation in Virgin Atlantic’s history with the recent transition to a new passenger service system.
Don joined Virgin Atlantic from American Airlines and holds over 30 years’ experience in the airline industry. In his most recent role at American Airlines, Don was Vice President Customer Care based in Fort Worth, Texas. In that capacity he was responsible for 12 contact centres and 81 airports where he led over 8,000 employees across the globe. Don has also spent over a decade working for American Airlines in the UK, acquiring citizenship during that time. Here, he was Managing Director for Customer Service, Europe and India, and before that he held the role of Managing Director of AA’s operations at Heathrow. Don graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1981.

 Kenny  Jacobs

Kenny Jacobs

Chief Marketing and Customer Officer

Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair, Europe’s biggest and the world’s leading low-cost airline. He is responsible for sales, marketing and customer service at Ryanair.

Previously Kenny was CMO for Moneysupermarket plc. which has a set of digital brands saving consumers money on insurance, finance, energy and travel. Kenny has spent most of his career in retail, with Tesco PLC as marketing director in Tesco Ireland and brand director for Tesco UK. Prior to that he worked for German retailer Metro Group GmbH in various roles in marketing and IT in Europe and Asia.

Marcus  Casey

Marcus Casey

VP Personalised Customer Experience, Analytics and Data Management

Marcus Casey is the Vice President for Personalised Customer Experience, Analytics and Data Management at Lufthansa. Therefore he is in charge of their personalised customer experience programme (SMILE) to transform Germany's No 1 airline into a customer insights and data driven organisation. He is responsible for staff of 120 people. The SMILE programme is a key pillar for digitally transforming the company. Marcus is an accomplished senior executive with over 18 years of international management experience in digital commerce, customer experience, marketing, sales, big data, and analytics. He has a proven ability and skill set to provide creative, innovative, disruptive, enthusiastic and forward thinking leadership. 

 Jean-Christophe  Lalanne

Jean-Christophe Lalanne

Executive Vice-President Information Technology
Air France-KLM

Jean-Christophe Lalanne is the Executive Vice-President Information Technology at Air France-KLM. In 2004, he joined Air France-KLM as assistant to the Group’s general manager of information systems. He oversaw IT strategy and contributed to the integration of the Air France and KLM information systems.

He is a Telecom Paris engineer and an IAE Paris-Sorbonne graduate who has devoted his entire career to the world of information technologies. He has led numerous assignments in the area of information systems architecture and technologies within the Alcatel group, Sema group and subsequently at Ernst & Young consultants. At the time of Ernst & Young’s merger with Cap Gemini in 2000, he occupied several executive functions within Cap Gemini France. 

Justin  Warby

Justin Warby

Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation
Etihad Airways
Philip  Easter

Philip Easter

Head - Mobile Apps & Wearables
American Airlines
Patrik  Forsström

Patrik Forsström

Head of Business Intelligence Competency Centre, Information Technology
Cathay Pacific Airways

Patrik Forsström is an airline expert. Patrik has worked within the airline industry since 2000 and several different roles in both IT and Finance. He was a Shared Services director at Finnair establishing a new captive Shared Service centre nearshore producing a broad range of services for the Finnair group. He has also worked extensively in airline BI and been leading both the Cathay Pacific’s and Finnair’s Business Intelligence Competency Centres. In addition he has run several strategic restructuring projects within the airline industry.

Patrik is very passionate about the potential benefits of both IoT and Big Data for the airline industry. He thinks there are major opportunities for airlines with Big Data e.g. for preventive maintenance in engineering and personalization for our customers in sales and marketing.

Eric Nantier

Eric Nantier

Director Operations Research & Air Traffic Management
SWISS International Air Lines Ltd.

Eric Nantier is the Director of Operations Research and Air Traffic Management at SWISS International Air Lines Ltd. The aim of this role is to optimise the operation of SWISS, before the flight, in collaboration with the network department - both on the ground and in flight. For the Lufthansa Group, Eric is also managing the Operation Control Process Development and Management, which aims to optimise the operation of the different Operating Control Centers of the Lufthansa Group, especially Frankfort, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Additionally, Eric is the main contact person for all ATC-related matters and is working for SESAR as an Airspace User.
Previously, Eric has managed several departments at SWISS - Operations Support and Dispatch, Operating Control Centre, SWISSAIR - Operations Support over the past 16 years; was director of Steria Zurich, Group leader at ABB Transportation and a consultant at Altran/CGS Informatique. Eric graduated as an engineer from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - France.

Stuart Birrell

Stuart Birrell

Chief Information Officer

Stuart Joined Heathrow in 2015 from McLaren Technology Group as Chief Information Officer. From his early career in various engineering and operations roles, he transitioned into IT in 2001. Since then, he has held several IT leadership roles across several industries. He holds an MBA from Warwick University, is a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and is a Chartered Engineer.

Guy Stephenson

Guy Stephenson

Chief Commercial Officer
Gatwick Airport

Guy Stephenson was appointed Chief Commercial Officer in November 2010, joining the Gatwick Airport team from National Express Ltd. Before this, he spent five years as Commercial Director of Thomsonfly and worked in investment banking, advising government and public sector clients throughout Europe on airport and ATC privatisation and restructuring. Mr. Stephenson has a BA (Hons) from the University of Durham, and an MBA with distinction from Imperial College London.

Glyn  Jones

Glyn Jones

Stobart Aviation / London Southend Airport

Glyn Jones joined Stobart in September as Chief Executive Officer for the aviation division. His first role in general management was at Bournemouth Airport, where he was Managing Director for four years. He then ran the palletised distribution network, Palletline, for four years before becoming Managing Director at London Luton Airport for seven years.
Glyn started his career with British Airways where he was trained in sales and marketing. He moved from aviation to aerospace, joining BAe Commercial Aircraft, where he was responsible for sales of commercial aircraft in Asia. He then moved to DHL as a marketer, before becoming Commercial Director for the UK. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

John  Lyons

John Lyons

Director of Innovation
Dublin Airport

John Lyons has worked with Dublin Airport since 2010 across various departments including Operations, Commercial and Innovation. Throughout this period, Dublin Airport has delivered significant growth of passenger numbers, customers satisfaction and infrastructure. Previous to aviation, John worked in the manufacturing and forensic science industries. He is a graduate of Dublin City University and Cranfield University with a keen interest in leadership, discovery and behavioural science.

Klaus Meier

Klaus Meier

Technical Director & CIO

Klaus Meier is the CIO and Director Engineering and Technology at skyguide, the swiss air navigation service provider. He is responsible for skyguide's air traffic management systems. He is currently building the first "virtual center" based on a Service Oriented Architecture. He was previously the CIO Americas for Schindler. His aviation background goes back to Swissair where he held leading positions in process improvement and technological innovation. Klaus, is an electrical engineer by training and holds a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.

Simon  Daykin

Simon Daykin

Chief Architect & Head of Service Design

Simon Daykin is accountable for the overall design of NATS’ new operational systems, ensuring that our current and future systems developments are aligned with the business and operational strategy.
Mr. Daykin has a wide-ranging background in systems development and design. Before joining NATS in 2013 he was Chief Technology Officer for IT Solutions Company Logicalis UK, where he led the development and design of their Data Centres, Cloud platform, Data Analytics and Collaboration Services along with major customer projects. He has also worked as a Systems Integrator at Thales and as an Architect at the Portman Building Society. As well as being a Chartered Engineer, he is passionate about green technologies.

Jim  Daily

Jim Daily

Vice President and Chief Digital Officer
GE Aviation

Jim Daily is vice president & chief digital officer for GE Aviation. Jim expanded his responsibilities to include the role of chief digital officer when GE Aviation formed a digital organization in early 2016 that brings all of the digital expertise from across Aviation into one business. In this role, Jim is responsible for the technology and business growth for the digital platforms and portfolio within GE Aviation.

Jim joined GE in 2011 after a 22-year career at Honeywell in several engineering and business roles of increasing responsibility culminating is his role as Vice President, Electronics Center of Excellence.  In conjunction with this role, he led the Aerospace Integrity and Compliance Council and was honored as the 2009 recipient of the highest corporate award for product development. 

Jim is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton, where he earned a Bachelor degree in electrical engineering, with an emphasis in computer & micro-processor based systems and digital design. 

Tony  Payne

Tony Payne

DLA Piper

Tony Payne is a partner in the Aviation practice based in London. Having practised for over a decade as an aviation lawyer in the UK and before that as a commercial lawyer in Australia, he has accumulated significant multi-national and domestic experience advising clients on all manner of regulatory and commercial matters in the aviation sector.
In addition to his expertise as a highly experienced aviation lawyer Tony is sought after for his pragmatic, corporate minded approach to achieving outstanding results for his clients. As a consequence of having significant senior in-house and major bid management experience in the aviation sector Tony understands the commercial and corporate imperatives that must be managed alongside the delivery of clear legal advice.
Tony's aviation practice has been centred around facilitating clients' international strategic ambitions in an omnipresent and multi-faceted aviation regulatory regimes. This has included advising clients in respect of: privatisation and liberalisation of aviation markets, compliance and non-compliance issues associated with ICAO conventions, European Regulations and domestic law, certification, changes of ownership, as well as supporting consultation exercises. Tony has advised on aviation regulatory matters not only affecting the airline industry but also airports, air navigation services, safety critical services, engineering, the military as well as engaging with Government departments and Regulators themselves.

Richard  Bonnar

Richard Bonnar

DLA Piper

Richard is a leading advisor on transformational change and outsourcing projects and is a leading lawyer within DLA Piper's Aviation Sector. Richard's clients include Pfizer Inc, Etihad Airlines, Serco Group, Cognizant, Cabinet Office, Department of Health and HSBC.
With over 29 years' experience as a corporate / commercial IT lawyer, Richard's skills are in big projects: strategy and execution, communication, working collaboratively and project management - getting the job done from a talented team.
Richard is listed as a "Leading Individual" (Information Technology, Legal 500, 2014) and a Band 1 lawyer (Outsourcing, Chambers UK, 2014). Recognised in Chambers Legal 500 as "the Government's outsourcing lawyer".

Annelise  Bremme

Annelise Bremme

Co-Founder and COO

Annelise Bremme is the Co-Founder and COO of - the first global crowdsourcing platform dedicated to the Aviation and Aerospace industry. Previously, Annelise was pivotal in structuring skyguide – Swiss Air Navigation Services commercial activities and forging a successful marketing and communication strategy resulting in expanding the company’s client base internationally. In the course of the numerous successful Air Traffic Management projects Annelise was involved in, she gained great insight into the aviation industry, and specifically into the potential that the need for flexible engagement of experts, consultants and professionals will create in the future. It was this experience that drove her to

Annelise is a graduate of the University of Geneva (Switzerland) where she earned a Bachelor in International Relations and a Master in Strategic Management with an emphasis on Innovative Business Model Creation.

John  Dabkowski

John Dabkowski

VP - Airline IT
Amadeus IT Group

Advisory Board (7)

Peggy Hollinger

Peggy Hollinger

Industry Editor
Financial Times

Peggy Hollinger was appointed the FT’s industry editor in September 2014. Prior to this, she had been a leader writer since September 2011. Ms Hollinger has also held the positions of the Paris bureau chief and Paris correspondent. Before that she was a UK company news editor and the retail correspondent. Joining the FT in 1987, she has also covered UK utilities and oil and gas and written for Lex. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, with an honours degree in history.

Stuart Birrell

Stuart Birrell

Chief Information Officer

Stuart Joined Heathrow in 2015 from McLaren Technology Group as Chief Information Officer. From his early career in various engineering and operations roles, he transitioned into IT in 2001. Since then, he has held several IT leadership roles across several industries. He holds an MBA from Warwick University, is a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and is a Chartered Engineer.

Thomas  Buchanan

Thomas Buchanan

Head of International Affairs & Corporate Compliance, Skyguide
Chairman of the Agency Advisory Body (AAB), EUROCONTROL

Thomas Buchanan has spent nearly his entire professional life in air traffic control. Trained as a Tower and Approach controller for Geneva Tower, before taking on a role in the Federal Office for Civil Aviation, the Swiss civil aviation authority in the domain of Instrument Flight Procedures approvals.
A couple of years later, he returned to the Swiss Air Navigation Services Provider and took over the Instrument Flight Procedure Design Office, allowing the entity of making the transition into the 21st Century by getting rid of all the paper support and incorporating the digital information into the design process. He actively participated in various meetings on the European level and provided his expertise in various working structures within Eurocontrol and also in the ICAO Regional Office in Paris. He also participated in the ICAO Obstacle Clearance Panel as an advisor, thereafter as the representative of a grouping of the Austrian, the Benelux, the Irish and the Swiss State as member to the panel. Between 2006 and 2011, he acted as Chairman of the Panel, reporting into the Air Navigation Bureau and also into the Air Navigation Commission of ICAO. Under his oversight, the Panel evolved into a more complete Instrument Flight Procedure Panel, increasing the responsibility of its work into the Flight Operations domains and the Human Factors stemming from the cockpit. This allowed also to publish the ICAO Quality Assurance Manual for Instrument Flight Procedure Design (Doc. 9906).
In 2007, he joined the international affairs division of skyguide that he has been leading since 2010. The division is now also responsible for the Corporate Regulatory Compliance. As from 2014, Thomas Buchanan is also the SESAR 2020 bid manager for skyguide, allowing the company to become a confirmed SESAR 2020 Member for the 2016-2021 timeframe.
He also contributed in the development of the Virtual Centre Business Model that skyguide is currently deploying between its two area control centres in Geneva and in Zurich, allowing skyguide to operate on centre from two locations.

​Alain Siebert

​Alain Siebert

Chief Economist & Master Planning​
SESAR Joint Undertaking

Alain Siebert is responsible for all economic and master planning aspects of the SESAR programme. In this position he is also responsible for organising and managing the involvement of civil airspace users and for Performance, Demonstration and Corporate Risk Management activities. He oversees the cooperation arrangements with EASA, National Authorities and the Deployment Manager. Prior to joining the SESAR Joint Undertaking Alain started his career as a Management Trainee at Air France and later joined SAS Group as Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer. He was later promoted Manager for Strategic Development under the responsibility of the Chief Operating Officer. Alain holds a MSc in Management and was educated at the Toulouse Business School and the London School of Economics.

​Aage  Dünhaupt

​Aage Dünhaupt

Head of Communications
Airlines for Europe (A4E)

Aage Dünhaupt is the Head of Communications at A4E - Airlines for Europe. Prior to this he was the Senior Vice President Communications at airberlin, Director Communications Southeast Europe, Middle East & Africa and Head of CCO Communications and Director Corporate Communications Europe at Lufthansa, and Head of International Communications
for Lufthansa Technik.

Alison  MacMaster

Alison MacMaster

Head of International Policy

Alison MacMaster joined NATS, the UK Air Traffic Service Provider in 1990 and having held a variety of senior management roles, including a 3 year secondment to CANSO, the ANSP’s trade association, as Director Industry Affairs,  is now Head of International Affairs; responsible for NATS engagement with the European Union, European bodies such as Eurocontrol and EASA.  Prior to this, she served as an officer in the Royal Air Force logistics branch after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University with an honours degree in Economics and Politics.

​​Henk  van Klaveren

​​Henk van Klaveren

Public Affairs & PR Manager
Airport Operators Association (AOA)

Henk van Klaveren represents the Airport Operators Association, where he looks after public affairs and PR. In a previous role at Maitland Political, he worked with technology companies on reshaping public service and transport delivery. Before that, he worked as a Press Officer for the Liberal Democrats, which included managing social media for the press office and then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.


Chaired by (2)

Robert Wright

Robert Wright

US Industry Correspondent
Financial Times

Robert Wright is the US Industry Correspondent for the Financial Times. He is based in New York. Previously, Mr Wright served as the FT’s London-based Shipping and Logistics Correspondent, from 2011 to 2012. Prior to that, he was an award-winning Transport Correspondent, covering all forms of surface transport. He has also been Budapest Correspondent, and a Companies Reporter. Mr Wright joined the FT in 1997 as a journalist in the Special Reports team. Prior to this, he was a reporter at The Scotsman. Mr Wright graduated from St Andrews University and has a degree in English Language and Literature. He also has a Diploma in Journalism from the University of Strathclyde/Glasgow Caledonian University.

Peggy Hollinger

Peggy Hollinger

Industry Editor
Financial Times

Peggy Hollinger was appointed the FT’s industry editor in September 2014. Prior to this, she had been a leader writer since September 2011. Ms Hollinger has also held the positions of the Paris bureau chief and Paris correspondent. Before that she was a UK company news editor and the retail correspondent. Joining the FT in 1987, she has also covered UK utilities and oil and gas and written for Lex. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, with an honours degree in history.


Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel
5 More London Place, Tooley Street
London SE1 2BY

United Kingdom

Tel: +44-203-002-4300


Why Attend

  • Envision the future of this industry with C-level executives and Heads of IT from Airlines, Airports, ATM, and key OEMs to harness the potential of the latest digital technologies 
  • Address the increasing concern over business continuity and resilience from a regulatory, industry-wide and cross-sector perspective to offer real insight into how to approach this critical aspect of safety
  • Benchmark against competitors, learn from digital thought leaders and hear regulatory updates
  • Understand how the latest technologies can be integrated to create the ultimate customer journey

Benefits of Attending

  • Network with C-level executives and Heads of Innovation and Technology across the full spectrum of the industry - from airlines, airports, ATMs/ANSPs, and key OEMs to grow your position within this evolving industry
  • Hear how digital leaders and experts across the industry can collaborate to overcome common challenges to benchmark your progress and further digital transformation
  • Gain insights from cross-sector thought leaders on what we can expect from the next phase of disruption and innovation to prepare your organisation
  • Learn how to become a data-driven organisation in order to optimise asset efficiency and service continuity
  • Discover how to incorporate nextgen digital capabilities across your organisation to create the ultimate passenger journey

Who Attends

FT Live has a reputation for delivering very senior board level audiences to attend a wide range of world class thought-leadership events across the globe for nearly 40 years. The FT Business of Aerospace & Aviation Summit will be attended by C-Level executives and Heads of IT/Operations/Strategy/Customer Service and Experience from:

  • Airlines
  • Airports
  • Air Traffic Management (ATM) / Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)

In addition to:

  • Consultants
  • IT & Technology Companies
  • Big Data and Analytics Providers
  • Law Firms

Founding Partner (1)

Lead Sponsor (1)

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers in more than 30 countries, which positions us perfectly to help our clients with their legal needs anywhere in the world. Our unrivaled global reach means we can provide a unified approach to cross border issues, as well as guidance on local issues which properly reflect international law and custom.

At DLA Piper we have a dedicated team of aviation lawyers who have been closely involved in many of the significant issues affecting the industry in recent years and well understand the future challenges it faces; especially in regards to the constant, urgent and novel issues that regularly arise in such a highly regulated global industry.

Our aviation team is a multi-disciplinary, firm-wide industry sector group with experience of advising aviation clients including major airlines, international and domestic carriers, airport operators, insurers, regulatory authorities, engine manufacturers, technology, cybersecurity and other defence service providers, and local government bodies on a range of essential business issues. 

Associate Sponsor (1)

Amadeus provides the technology which keeps the travel sector moving - from initial search to making a booking, from pricing to ticketing, from managing reservations to managing check-in and departure processes.

Our products and solutions help to improve the business performance of our customers; travel agencies, corporations, airlines, ground handlers, hotels, railways, car rental companies, airports, cruise lines and ferry operators.

At the heart of our approach is innovation. Amadeus was recognised in 2014 and 2015 as the leading European investor in R&D for the travel and tourism sector by the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which ranks European companies by total investment in R&D. Over €4 billion have been invested in R&D since 2004.

It is this strong commitment that we believe will enable us to continue working with our customers and partners to shape the future of travel.

Amadeus works in more than 190 markets with a worldwide team of more than 14,000 people.

Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange and forms part of the IBEX 35 Index.

Supporting Partner (3)

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. Launched in January 2016, the association consists of Aegean, airBaltic, Air France KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG),, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and Volotea, and plans to grow further. With more than 550 million passengers on board each year, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s  journeys, operating more than 2,700 airplanes and generating more than EUR 100 billion in annual turnover.


As the technological pillar of the EU’s Single European Sky initiative, SESAR aims to modernise and harmonise air traffic management (ATM) in Europe. The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) was established in 2007 as a public-private partnership to support this endeavour. It does so by pooling the knowledge and resources of the entire ATM community in order to define, research, develop and validate innovative technological and operational solutions. The SESAR JU is also responsible for the execution of the European ATM Master Plan, the roadmap for ATM modernisation in Europe. Founded by the European Union and Eurocontrol, the SESAR JU has 19 members, who together with their partners and affiliate associations will represent over 100 companies working in Europe and beyond. The SESAR JU also works closely with staff associations, regulators, airport operators and the scientific community.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the trade association that represents UK airports. Its mission is to see UK airports grow sustainably. It represents the views of UK airports to Government, Parliament and regulators to secure policy outcomes that help deliver our mission. The AOA represents more than 50 UK airports in the UK. For more information, please visit   

Organiser (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 840,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.

Why Sponsor

  • Gain access to senior decision makers across the full spectrum of the aviation industry
  • Brand alignment with the FT and its unrivalled credibility
  • Demonstrate thought leadership around the current critical issues affecting the aviation sector
  • Benefit from sustained international visibility through our advertising and marketing campaigns

Contact Us

Amy Brazewell
Senior Marketing Executive
Financial Times
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Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times
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Speaking Opportunities
Financial Times
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Financial Times