Some of the world's top pilots are going to battle it out at next year's Al Ain Aerobatic Show (February 2-5, 2011). The Desert Challenge, officially sanctioned by the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI), will be the centerpiece for a show that is expected to attract 130,000 people.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is slashing prices for landing and parking fees at Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen Executive Airport, effective immediately. Al Bateen is the region's only airport dedicated to business aviation and it is close to the city center of Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi government's decision to redevelop Al Bateen as a gateway for private and executive flights is an important feature of its ambitious 2030 masterplan to diversify the economy of the emirate. No less than $500 billion is being invested over a 20-year period to establish Abu Dhabi as a global business and cultural hub in the United Arab Emirates.
The fourth Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show is off to a strong start, with exhibitor numbers climbing more than 40 percent from 2008 and registered visitors topping the 7,000 mark, up from 5,500. But this could be the show's last staging here in Dubai for the time being, with plans being made to relocate the event to another prime location in the Arabian Gulf.
Al Bateen Executive Airport (Stand C600) handled nearly 100 private aircraft movements during the recent Ethiad Airways Formula 1 Grand Prix in mid-November. While the peak traffic days were November 13 and 14 overall traffic increased 17 percent when compared with the number of aircraft handled during the 2009 race. Aircraft as large as a VIP Boeing 757 landed at Al Bateen, a former military airbase.
Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport will commission its new instrument landing system and GNSS/VOR/DME-based precision approach this month, ending its VFR-only limitation. The former military air base now lays claim to being the Middle East’s only dedicated business aviation airport and further redevelopment is planned as it prepares to double its annual movements to more than 12,000 by 2014.
Mubadala Aerospace is positioning itself as a tier-one supplier of large composite structures to Airbus or Boeing for future single-aisle aircraft as part of its continuing drive to become a top player in the global aerospace industry. “We’re looking at a stake of up to 20 percent in the composites content of any new aircraft,” executive director, aerospace unit, Homaid Al Shemmari, said yesterday.
Al Bateen Executive, the Gulf region’s first dedicated private aviation airport, reported a 30-percent increase in aircraft movements in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. The airport is located minutes from the city center of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Aabar Investments is investing a further $20 million in charter provider XOJet. The move came just four months after XOJet secured $470 million in additional funding from a group led by TPG, a Fort Worth-based private equity firm, and Aabar. Meanwhile, Aabar and XOjet said they plan to form a joint venture in the UAE to provide aviation services in the Middle East and North Africa.
XOJet has secured $470 million in additional financing, including $100 million in equity and a “more flexible debt facility” of $370 million that allows for the purchase of either new or used aircraft. The financing was led by TPG, a Fort Worth-based private equity firm, and Aabar, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm. XOJet plans to use the additional capital to expand its charter aircraft operations.