Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
Even as AirAsia India prepares to apply for a No Objection Certificate to start domestic operations, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has invested $379 million in India’s Jet Airways. The outlay gives Etihad a 24-percent share in India’s second largest carrier.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
Boeing and Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (Adasi) signed a teaming agreement on February 18 to support Boeing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the UAE, and to help develop that country’s own technical capabilities. The parties signed the agreement at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The freshly certified, wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 will make its Middle Eastern public debut at Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which will be held March 5 to 7 at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi. “We are delighted that Gulfstream has chosen [our] expo as the platform from which to premiere its latest aircraft and know it will be of great interest to [show] visitors,” said event director Didier Mary.
Gulfstream plans to have its G450 and G550 on static display at the show as well.
A U.S.-registered Dassault Falcon 900 that was forced to make an emergency landing at an airport in southern Iran approximately three weeks ago was allowed to take off this past Sunday after repairs were completed. The trijet was reportedly en route from Abu Dhabi to Rotterdam when it landed at Ahvaz after what was described as a technical failure. The passenger and crew of the bizjet soon left Iran, while a French support team from Abu Dhabi arrived to perform repairs. As a member of ICAO, Iran is obligated to come to the aid of civilian aircraft in distress.
As well as its day-to-day task of catering for business aviation in Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen Executive Airport is getting ready for the second Abu Dhabi Air Expo (March 5-7, 2013), billed as “the only general aviation exhibition in the Middle East.” Organizers appear to be attempting to incorporate light and sport aviation, whereas MEBA is mainly a business aviation show, otherwise its claim to be the “only” show might suggest a strategy to
Al Bateen Executive Airport is getting ready for the second Abu Dhabi Air Expo (March 5 to 7, 2013), billed as “the only general aviation exhibition in the Middle East.” Organizers appear to be attempting to incorporate light and sport aviation, whereas MEBA is mainly a business aviation show. Air Expo officials anticipate a display of more than 120 aircraft, including helicopters, sport aircraft and an Airbus A319 from locally based Rotana Jet.
Ali Al Naqbi has been at the heart of business aviation developments in the Middle East for more than a decade, playing a central role in the formation of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), of which he is chairman. This role followed three years as managing director of Abu Dhabi-based aircraft charter and management group Royal Jet. Previously, for almost 20 years, he had been with Abu Dhabi’s Amiri flight, from which Royal Jet was formed.
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.