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.
The fate of two Turkish Airlines pilots, Murat Akpınar and Murat Ağca, who were kidnapped August 9 as they left Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (OLBA), is still unknown. The pair was abducted shortly after the completion of a flight to the Lebanese capital.
The only communication has been from a group that claims to be aligned with Syrian rebels demanding that Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu use his influence to obtain the release of a number of Lebanese Shiites who were themselves kidnapped in Syria in May last year.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) is looking to go local from next year. Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the organization, confirmed here at the EBACE show that the association has chosen Beirut, Lebanon, as the site for the organization’s first forum, in 2013.
This year's MEBA show hasn't even closed yet, but already the organizers, F&E Aerospace (Stand E313), has signed up the first exhibitor for the next event, to be held December 11 to 13, 2012. First to take up the opportunity is Executive Aircraft Services from Lebanon (Stand C510), which runs an FBO at Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport, as well as managing a seven-aircraft fleet.
Cessna has delivered the first of two Citation Mustangs to Lebanese charter company Open Sky Aviation. Open Sky Aviation will operate from Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport and will serve destinations including Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Beirut FBO Cedar Jet Center (Stand No. 631) has started offering aircraft maintenance services in partnership with its MEA group sister company MASCO. Next month, the joint venture will open a new hangar dedicated to maintenance operations.
Enthusiasm over a near 50-percent year-over-year jump in passenger traffic had reached a climax early in the summer of 2006 at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport when, in an instant, on July 13 Israeli bombs shattered and set ablaze all the good feelings along with vast chunks of runway and the airport’s main fuel tanks.
Universal Weather & Aviation is to open a business aircraft handling operation at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon. The facility will be run as a joint venture with local company Cirrus Middle East and will eventually trade under the name Universal Aviation Beirut.