Buoyed by the 40 percent growth figures for this year’s event, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is making no secret of Dubai’s ambitions to eventually host the world’s biggest airshow in 20 years’ time.
United Arab Emirates
With construction under way on the new Dubai World Central airport, the existing Dubai International Airport (DXB) is continuing to grow, as planned, to allow it to be capable of handling 68 million pasengers in 2010, although current projections foresee an actual throughput of 50.8 million at that time (see chart). Here at the Dubai Air Show, the airport authority is unveiling a new logo and name.
The Arabian Gulf region has experienced an unprecedented period of economic activity over the past decade, especially here in Dubai, which has succeeded in reducing its reliance on oil to a point where its economy does not seem to depend on that sector for survival.
As part of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways’ expanding “emiratization” program, an initial batch of 12 UAE national cadets started training in June at Mubadala’s Horizon International Flight Academy in Al Ain, 75 miles south of Dubai.
Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Co. (Stand W300) has enlisted the aid of some of aerospace’s biggest names in pursuit of the United Arab Emirates’ aim to become a producer and investor in the industry as well as a major customer. The company says its entry into aerospace will be “organized in carefully planned stages and is likely to involve significant investment in the first few years.”
Too few business aircraft are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Arabian Gulf states to meet rising demand for executive charter flights, according to International Air Charter (IAC), a UK-based charter brokering group that opened an office in Dubai two years ago. The company is urging charter operators to move aircraft into the region to increase capacity and stimulate further demand.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is here with its most recent acquisition, the Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses that it purchased for $1.9 billion last month from private-equity firm Carlyle Group.
Bob Johnson doesn’t just enjoy the game of golf, he’s a golf fanatic who has played in pro-am tournaments alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and other top players. So when he retired from his job as president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace a little over a year ago, friends and former colleagues figured they knew where they could find him if they ever needed to–on the links of Phoenix’s toughest courses, sharpening his game.
After purchasing Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero from The Carlyle Group on August 1, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) announced that it is selling a division of Landmark Aviation now called the Airport Services Group and retaining the maintenance-focused portions of Landmark, including executive aircraft completions business Associated Air Center as well as turbine overhauler Standard Aero.
It seems inconceivable that next November’s Dubai Airshow, the tenth in a series that began modestly in 1989, will be the last at the new site inaugurated just 10 years ago. But in 2009 the aerospace caravan will be pitching camp at the new Dubai World Central (JXB) Airport in Jebel Ali, 40 kilometers and another huge leap of the imagination away.