One element of China’s current five-year plan is the improvement of the environment for general aviation, which includes business aircraft operations. New airports and infrastructure are being built, and more airspace is being made available for non-airline commercial and business operations. Many of the issues affecting this segment of the aviation industry will be addressed at the inaugural Open Skies Xian business and general aviation leaders forum to be held in September this year.
FlightSafety International continued its non-U.S. expansion in the helicopter training market, signing an agreement at EBACE on Wednesday with Infinity Support Services (ISS). The contract calls for FlightSafety to deliver a Level D flight simulation training device (FSTD) for the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter to the new ISS Aviation Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This will be FlightSafety’s first helicopter FSTD in the Middle East and follows recent announcements of S-92 devices for Stavanger, Norway and São Paulo, Brazil.
This year’s Middle East Business Aviation show, to be held at Dubai World Central December 8-10, is on course to be the biggest yet, reports the organizer, the Middle East Business Aircraft Association. MEBAA founding chairman Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi told AIN that bookings have already exceeded targets by nearly 20 percent and that more aircraft and helicopters are expected than at the previous five editions of the show. Sections launched in 2012 and devoted to business airports and aircraft interiors are expected to expand considerably.
Lebanon’s inability to appoint a fully fledged civil aviation authority has led to failures to pass ICAO audits, but has not raised safety concerns about airlines operating within the country, a senior Lebanese civil aviation official told AIN recently in Dubai.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, its new head, executive vice president David Edwards, told AIN.
Aircraft registrations in the Middle East business aviation market could grow to 1,300 units by the end of the decade, and business aviation in the Middle East is undergoing unprecedented changes, according to Thierry Boutsen, former Formula 1 race-car driver and founder of Monaco-based brokerage Boutsen Aviation.
After the third running of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS, Stand 1183) this past January was hailed as a success by its organizers, preparations are already being made for the next event in 2016. Hopes are high that it can surpass commercial deals of around $2.1 billion–the 2014 figure that was more than double that of 2012.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s efforts to help regulators take the initiative on pressing business aviation issues in the region, such as oversight and the gray-charter market, have helped to create debate in the Gulf, a market that is one of the most important to aircraft manufacturers.
Airbus- and Boeing-approved completion center Aeria Luxury Interiors of San Antonio, a subsidiary of ST Aerospace, highlighted its recent cabin refurbishment of a Boeing 767-200, and plans for its first BBJ green cabin completion. The BBJ is scheduled to arrive at Aeria from Boeing this December. Its interior will incorporate a humidification and zonal drying system to enhance passenger comfort, said Ron Soret, v-p and general manager for completions. Delivery to the customer is expected in October next year.