The University of Zilina moved this year’s INAIR conference to Prague and it proved one of the best yet. The speakers came from a wide range of countries as well as Slovakia, and there was strong representation from the academic world – unusual in aviation training circles. However, this conference is not all about training – it covers a wide range of topics which happen to include training.

There was an interesting presentation from the CEO of Pardubice Airport, a regional airport in the Czech Republic. This made the point that airports have to make profits as well as providing the services required, not an easy task for a regional airport only about 150 kms from Prague, but which is making headway and does now attract some airlines who will pay their way.

Not all speakers were from the east of the continent, but included Austrian, German, Danish and UK presenters.

In the pilot training part of the programme, there was an interesting presentation on pilot psychology, which is a subject rarely covered elsewhere and which provoked discussion. Other presentations related specifically to marketing European training around the world and to the challenges facing this global industry of ours.

One should never forget the tremendous efforts that have been made by Professor Antonin Kazda and his team to establish the University of Zilina as the leading university in the field of air transport in the region. Since becoming independent of the old Soviet Block, the university has grown to be leading in that part of Europe in all fields relating to transport, but none more so than the field of air transport and they are to be congratulated on staging this event annually for several years. This may not be the largest conference but it does attempt to cover a wide range of subjects all particularly relevant to those states in what was Eastern Europe. They are not seeking to become a rival to EATS or WATS, but to service the needs and issues affecting these emerging states now largely forming a part of the European Union, and the event deserves to continue for many years to come. – Peter Moxham, FRAeS