At a briefing here Monday, the Pentagon’s V-22 Osprey program manager presented a long list of countries that had shown some interest in acquiring the Bell-Boeing tiltrotor. Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello cautioned that only Israel had firmed up a contract and that his office’s contact with some of the others was still in the early stages. Nevertheless, the list is interesting and worth repeating: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, U.A.E. and the UK.
On the eve of the Paris air show the Longbow joint venture comprised of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman announced that it had received a contract to provide Longbow fire control radars (FCRs) for the AH-64E Apache Guardians (formerly AH-64D Block III) that have been ordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The $90.6 million contract covers FCRs for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command and the Saudi Arabia National Guard, as well as mast-mounted assemblies for the U.S. Army. Spares and support is also included in the Saudi element.
The General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates on June 4 announced plans to add two routes between the UAE and Bahrain, bringing the total number to three, to increase system capacity and improve traffic flow. No implementation date was announced for the new routes, which were created in partnership with the Dubai Foundation for Air Navigation Services.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association plans to hold frequent regional conferences to stay attuned to its members. Its Middle East Business Aviation Conferences (MEBAC) will be held about four times a year in different countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The inaugural MEBAC will be held on June 4 at the Hilton Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Follow-on regional conferences will be held in Morocco on October 8, Dubai on November 17 and Bahrain on January 15.
As its membership continues to grow beyond 200, the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA, Booth 827) plans to hold frequent regional conferences to stay attuned to its members and keep on top of local business aviation issues. According to MEBAA founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi, these Middle East Business Aviation Conferences (MEBAC) will be held about four times a year in different countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association is hosting the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 4. The conference, which is officially sanctioned by Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) president H.H. Prince Fahd bin Abdulla bin Muhammad, will gather prominent leaders from the region’s aviation sector to discuss the issues affecting the Kingdom’s business aviation market. Keynote speakers will include Prince Fahd, GACA vice president Dr.
XJet, which has been operating an FBO at Denver Centennial Airport since 2007, is opening a second base at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport. Last week, XJet founder and CEO Josh Stewart signed a 10-year lease agreement to establish an exclusive club and FBO service at the airport, which expects to see a doubling of private jet movements within the next five years. XJet has also committed to ultimately moving its headquarters to the UAE as it grows the company’s footprint in the Middle East.
Dubai Airshow organizing firm F&E Aerospace (Booth 827) said that the show’s new venue is on schedule for completion, with just 90 days until Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects officially hands over the keys for the show site. The biennial event will take place November 17 to 21 at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Jebel Ali. This year, more than 60,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors are expected.
Gama Aviation’s Sharjah Airport FBO has posted a 75-percent increase in corporate aviation movements during the past 12 months. The company responded to the increased traffic by adding five new employees to serve its expanding customer base. The increased traffic demonstrates that the FBO has established itself as “the stress-free preferred gateway for business and private visitors to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” according to Dave Edwards, managing director, Gama Aviation Sharjah.
Qatar Executive is investing in the development of a private jet terminal at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The opening of the new gateway for airline service has been delayed, following a failure to achieve the planned “soft opening” on April 1, but this appears not to be holding back plans to serve business aviation traffic there.