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Inaugural Australian Aviation Summit set for August

written by Malavika Santhebennur | June 17, 2024

Two years after launching our first annual awards, we are proud to announce another landmark event in the four-decade history of the Australian Aviation brand.

As the aviation sector embarks on a period of innovation and advancement, the industry’s leading experts will gather in August at the brand-new Australian Aviation Summit 2024.

The summit will be held at The Star, Sydney, on Thursday, 29 August 2024, with support from principal partner and engineering company Leidos. Click here to book your tickets.

The inaugural Australian Aviation Summit will bring together industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts for an unparalleled exchange of new ideas through keynote addresses and panel sessions.


As the aviation industry navigates a post-COVID pandemic world, discussing these issues in this public forum is vital.

The summit is a platform for networking, collaboration, and education as the industry’s best and brightest share their insights on industry trends, regulatory updates, technological developments, future trajectory, opportunities and challenges, and strategies to propel the domestic aviation sector to new heights.

Following an introduction from Leidos Australia and Asia chief executive Paul Chase, the first session will explore how Australia could become a global leader in sustainable aviation fuel production, helping us meet our ambitious net zero emissions targets by 2050.

A panel of speakers will delve into Australia’s current standing in pursuing sustainable fuel technologies and the complexities involved in creating a sustainable fuel industry.

Speakers will ask critical questions about whether sustainable aviation fuels offer a viable and long-term solution or merely a stopgap solution before transitioning towards more sustainable energy sources.

The second session will centre on the landmark Aviation White Paper, which the federal government is due to release in the next few weeks. It marks a pivotal moment in shaping the future of Australia’s aviation industry up to 2050.

The terms of reference stated that the white paper would articulate long-term policy directions and pave the way for the next generation of growth and innovation in the aviation sector.

It also said the white paper would detail the federal government’s policies on desired aviation outcomes, such as efficiency, safety, sustainability, and competitiveness, to ensure the sector is positioned to deliver aviation services for the Australian public and international visitors until 2050.

A panel of speakers will assess the whitepaper’s successes and shortcomings, whether the government’s vision aligns with the industry’s goals and where potential gaps exist.

As the industry continues to grapple with the aftermath of COVID, they will discuss topics such as competition dynamics within the aviation market, the integration of future technologies to enhance operational efficiency and safety, and the policies required to ensure the domestic aviation sector keeps pace with the evolving landscape and competes on the global stage.

One session will focus on the aviation workforce, with speakers debating how the sector could encourage the next generation to pursue careers in aviation (particularly as pilots and engineers) while addressing short-term requirements and long-term sustainability.

They will unpack the strategies that could help the sector overcome labour shortages (exacerbated by the pandemic as a large segment of the workforce either retired or were made redundant) and create a new generation of aviation leaders.

Building on these issues, speakers in the following session will uncover how the sector could reduce the gender divide and attract more women into the industry. They will propose strategies to promote STEM education for young women and enhance recruitment.

The speakers will also suggest ways to support career development through mentorship programs and leadership training and advocate for policy changes, such as implementing quotas for the representation of women on boards and leadership teams, promoting pay parity, and enforcing anti-discrimination laws.

The summit will conclude with insights from key players driving global innovation on the exciting future of Australia’s drone sector and new technological developments that could revolutionise it.

Several notable speakers will participate in the summit, including:

  • Christian Bennett: chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer, Virgin Australia
  • Jesse Suskin: head of government relations and public policy, Google Wing (Alphabet Inc)
  • Kirsty Anne Ferguson: founder, Pinstripe Solutions – Aviation Interview Preparation

More speakers will be announced in the weeks ahead.

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