Avisa Gulf, a joint venture between Avisa UK and Al Jaber Aviation, has been awarded the first UAE, Middle East and North Africa region airworthiness GCAA Part M Continued Airworthiness and Maintenance Management Organization approval for a private company.
As the phenomenal growth in the Middle East air transport sector gathers momentum, attention is turning to how to manage the increased numbers of airliners now on order when they enter the skies above the Persian Gulf. This is especially true in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region–home to Emirates Airline, Etihad and Qatar Airways–where governments have risen to the challenge of air traffic management, and now thoughts are turning to how to mount a regional effort to maximize air traffic efficiency.
Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport (Stand 1943) has named Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi as acting general manager, with immediate effect. Until recently, Yousif was chairman of the organizing committee of Abu Dhabi Air Expo. He is also the president of the recently formed Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association branch in the United Arab Emirates.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show will be staged for the first time at Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport later this year (December 11-13). Organizers say the new location at what is also known as Dubai World Central will allow plenty of space for growth at a show that in 2010 attracted 338 exhibitors, 55 aircraft and 6,200 trade visitors.
Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport (Stand 1943) is fast gaining traction as the Middle East’s first and only dedicated business aviation gateway. The former military air base has been reinvented as a business aviation service hub, along the lines airports such as the London-area Farnborough and Biggin Hill, and Le Bourget in Paris.
Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a leading business aviation hub in the Arabian Gulf was further enhanced by the March staging of the inaugural Air Expo. The event, held at the Al Bateen Executive Airport nine months before rival Dubai’s Middle East Business Aviation show, attracted a reported 10,700 visitors and 105 exhibitors.
Boeing has expanded its supplier base into the Middle East by awarding a 10-year contract to Strata Manufacturing, the Al Ain-based subsidiary of Mubadala Aerospace in the United Arab Emirates. The deal, announced at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on April 17, covers empennage ribs for the 777 twinjet and vertical fin ribs for the 787.
Royal Jet president and CEO Shane O’Hare is predicting that the Middle East market for private jet travel could grow at 6 to 8 percent this year and next, with Royal Jet itself forecasting 15-percent growth this year. He also said the growth of the private jet market could spawn the development of global alliances among operators, along similar lines to those in the airline sector. The Abu Dhabi-based flight services company reported a 15-percent increase in first-quarter revenue from a year ago.
The medevac unit of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Jet evacuated 31 Chinese workers injured in explosions in the Republic of Congo on March 10, transporting them on a Boeing Business Jet from Maya Maya Airport in Brazzaville, Congo’s capital, to Beijing, China, in 16 hours following a brief stop
While the inaugural three-day Abu Dhabi Air Expo held last week at Al Bateen Executive Airport attracted almost 100 exhibitors and approximately 7,500 visitors, the airport itself was the star of the show. Opened in the 1960s, Al Bateen is minutes from Abu Dhabi’s prime locations and lies on the city’s main island. In 2008, airport manager Abu Dhabi Airports converted it into a facility for business jet operators. Established VIP players Al Jaber Aviation and Prestige Jet and charter operator Falcon Aviation Services are its major users.