Droning On In Riga
It's refreshing to visit a market where things are happening and the Riga Aviation Forum showed just how vibrant the market is and how important aviation is to so many industry sectors. We were there giving a perspective of how the market could change in the coming years with some quite compelling analysis of the need for airline consolidation in Europe. We also covered the regional airports opportunity, a sector which seems to be having a growth spurt.
Riga probably would not be high on your list of aviation hot spots but they are certainly punching above their weight. The local airline is both the launch customer of the A220, a great plane to sit in and one of the most punctual airlines in the world. The airport is developing direct rail connectivity to other cities across the Baltic's and the technical capabilities are very high in many sectors.
You sense that those airports on the fringes of Europe have to work harder for every new airline and service and that more opportunities exist for those wanting to make a difference. One example in Riga is the development of a drone industry and some really innovative use cases for this relatively new technology. It seems Latvia will be the first EU country to establish clear operating practices in conjunction with Eurocontrol. And of course if provides a headline pun for the blog!
It might be worth keeping an eye on Latvia and the Baltic markets in the next few years; things are happening and its great to contribute in a small way to that story!