With its oil and gas industry Nigeria has a large offshore support industry, employing a number of established operators such as Bristow and Caverton. The oil and gas business has a growing need for deep-water support, which in turn requires larger and longer-legged aircraft. The increase in numbers of sorties is also driving a requirement for greater air traffic control. A Saab Sensis system is expected to provide low-level coverage for the Gulf of Guinea by year-end.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
The business jet market has finally stabilized after five long years and is poised for growth this year, according to two outlooks presented at the NBAA Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal Conference, held on February 6 and 7 in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Take a look around, because this is the recovery,” JetNet iQ director Rollie Vincent told attendees. Dean Roberts, director of market analysis at Rolls-Royce North America, concurred, saying that the industry is now “progressing well.”
With the recovery of business aviation in the mature Western markets of Europe and North America still sketchy, Africa has emerged as one of the bright spots of growth, and the jewel in the crown is Nigeria, where oil and gas production has been the principal driver behind a massive growth in business traffic. The rise of the sector in Nigeria has been phenomenal, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. That was the abiding message from the second Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, which was held in Lagos at the end of March.
Market activity in the first quarter saw inventory hold steady at multi-year lows, with an equal number of aircraft coming onto and leaving the market. Buying activity generally accelerates in the spring quarter, and this year’s set-up seems to be no exception, with brokers reporting brisk sales action. Despite the tightening there’s quite a bit of head scratching about why prices haven’t reacted more positively.
The 14th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), to be staged once again at its established home at Switzerland’s Geneva International Airport (May 20 to 22), is on track for further growth. The event, which is second in stature only to NBAA’s annual convention in the U.S., is set to draw more than 320 exhibitors (up from 294 last year), and with only half of these companies hailing from Europe the show will once again have a distinctly global dimension, drawing participants from the newer markets of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the Americas.
ExecuJet Aviation Group’s Middle East joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s NasJet at the private aviation terminal at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, which opened less than a year ago, is benefitting from robust levels of business in the Saudi capital, and is likely to continue to see higher levels of aircraft movements than regional hub Dubai, a company official said last month at MEBAC in Riyadh.
The Saudi market accounts for almost half of the 550 business jets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and is growing at 10 percent a year, the head of a leading Saudi Arabian aviation company said in Riyadh at last month’s Middle East Business Aviation Conference.
Saudi Arabia saw almost 30,000 business jet movements last year, including 10,737 in Riyadh, 9,740 at Dammam and 9,392 in Jeddah (a total of 29,869 movements), according to data compiled by WingX for the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show. Boeing has the strongest OEM presence in the kingdom, with 38 aircraft in 10 Middle East countries; since 2000, Airbus has sold 13 new aircraft in the region, Embraer eight and Bombardier five.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards will predominate in the UAE’s efforts to develop a workable framework for the oversight of business aviation, which it hopes will serve as a model for the rest of the region, a UAE aviation safety official said last month at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
One set of rules currently governs all types of aviation in the UAE, but business aviation sometimes presents a special case and must comply with rules that are not necessarily applicable to it.