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.
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.
ExecuJet Aviation Group’s Middle East joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s NasJet at the private aviation terminal at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, which opened less than a year ago, is benefitting from robust levels of business in the Saudi capital, and is likely to continue to see higher levels of aircraft movements than regional hub Dubai, a company official said last month at MEBAC in Riyadh.
The Saudi market accounts for almost half of the 550 business jets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and is growing at 10 percent a year, the head of a leading Saudi Arabian aviation company said in Riyadh at last month’s Middle East Business Aviation Conference.
Saudi Arabia saw almost 30,000 business jet movements last year, including 10,737 in Riyadh, 9,740 at Dammam and 9,392 in Jeddah (a total of 29,869 movements), according to data compiled by WingX for the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show. Boeing has the strongest OEM presence in the kingdom, with 38 aircraft in 10 Middle East countries; since 2000, Airbus has sold 13 new aircraft in the region, Embraer eight and Bombardier five.
Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
The need for better regulation and firmer action to stem the tide of the so-called gray market in illegal charter flights will top the agenda at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC), which will be held in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on April 10. The event is organized by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which is taking the lead in pushing for firmer legal foundations to support the region’s fast-growing industry.
Gulfstream has a fleet of over 100 business aircraft owned and operated in the Arabian Gulf region, with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) representing strong customer basses in the large-cabin market.
After more than two years of negotiation, the governments of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed new terms covering the delivery of 48 Typhoon fighters. Under the original 2007 Project Salam contract, Saudi Arabia ordered 72 Typhoons, with BAE Systems acting as lead company for the Eurofighter consortium. The first 24 aircraft were delivered without issue, but the remaining 48 aircraft became the subject of debate.
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