More than 3,000 aviation industry professionals and executives will convene on September 24-25, 2008 during Aviation Week’s annual MRO Europe 2008 Conference & Exhibition in Madrid, Spain, at the IFEMA Convention Center to determine the future of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in Europe. The event includes an international exhibition hall with more than 300 MRO product and services suppliers.

MROs have been meeting the challenge of economically “leaning” their operations, but now a new test arises – reinforcing lean advantages while making the industry greener. Speakers will explore how to reconcile economics and environmental sustainability in sessions devoted to green maintenance practices, cleaner-running engines and the future of new fuels. Attendees will also examine sustainability and safety in the face of increased traffic, dealing with “data pollution,” where to look for tomorrow’s human resources, and where new markets will emerge.

“The biggest challenge is surviving the crisis in fuel prices,” said Fernando Pinto, CEO of TAP Portugal, in an exclusive interview in Aviation Week & Space Technology on May 19. “If the cost of fuel keeps going up, ultimately we could lose passengers because the cost of air travel will also have to rise. We are flying 70-80 percent load factors, and if they drop in this environment, our problem will be one of survival.” Pinto will address attendees during his Thursday, September 25, keynote address, “Challenges for MROs over the Next Five Years.”

Fernando Conte, CEO of Iberia, will open MRO Europe with Wednesday’s keynote and discuss reducing congestion and emissions in European airspace. Other prominent speakers include representatives from Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, AEA, Aegean Airlines, AeroStrategy Ltd., Air France Industries, Alitalia Servizi, Aviation Management Alumni Society, Boeing Company, The Bourton Group, EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering, Eurosae, Finnair, Iberia Maintenance, Lufthansa Technical Training, Martinair, MTU Maintenance, Pratt & Whitney, Snecma Services, Society of British Aerospace Companies, TAP Portugal, Tarom Romanian Air Transport and TeamSAI.

MRO Europe 2008 is presented by Aviation Week, the largest multimedia information and services provider to the global aerospace and defense industries, and is produced by Aviation Week Conferences & Exhibitions and Overhaul & Maintenance, in partnership with Iberia Maintenance, and with support from the Association of European Airlines and Croatia Airlines. The International Air Transport Association is the international partner. AAR Corp., Boeing, Goodrich, and Pratt & Whitney are gold sponsors. Silver sponsors include Avio, Heico, and Spirit AeroSystems. Bronze level sponsors are Airbus, Delta TechOps, OGMA, and United Services. Media sponsors include Airline ’92, Aviation Week & Space Technology, MRO Management and Overhaul & Maintenance.