NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme hosts first Pápa Business Leaders forum at Pápa Air Base, Hungary

30 July 2014

The first-ever Business Leaders Forum was hosted by Mr. Wiek Noldus, the NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Manager on 24 June in cooperation with the Pápa municipality.

The aim of this meeting, held at Pápa Air Base (home base of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC)) was to improve the cooperation in the region and to explore opportunities and synergies between participants. A broad range of representatives from local government, public education and business and industry attended this event.

Mr. Noldus, LtCol. Zsolt Magasy, Commander Pápa Air Base, Col. Frank Rombouts, Commander Heavy Airlift Wing, and Mr Mark Plummer  from the Boeing Company, provided information to attendees on current activities and future plans.  This group committed to improving information sharing with the local community and businesses aided by the involvement of a CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-operation) team from the Hungarian Ministry of Defense. The deputy mayor of Pápa, Mr Unger Tamás gave an introduction to the economic situation in the region and the new Business Development Concept for Pápa.

The establishment of SAC in Pápa, five years ago, and the base development plan made clear that there is great potential for closer cooperation. “The ongoing realization of the new SAC infrastructures at Pápa Air Base, to include a C-17-size maintenance hangar and new office buildings, show that SAC is here to stay for at least another 25 years”, Mr Noldus stated. “The influx of approximately 1000 new international citizens in Pápa with significant buying power has increased consumer spending and generated revenues which permit further spending and even investment.”  During his presentation LtCol Magasy added, “it is the intention of Hungary to develop Pápa Air Base into a multi-model transport hub, able to receive a variety of (strategic) transportation aircraft and reception or further transportation of cargo by rail or road.“

“The first Pápa Business Leaders forum was a significant success and all attendees expressed strong interest in regular meetings to begin in the fall.” concluded Mr Noldus.