The September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. immediately cast doubt on the viability of next month’s Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates (November 4 to 8). However, at press time show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions said no consideration had yet been given to postponing or canceling the event.
United Arab Emirates
By all accounts, the 2007 edition of the Dubai Air Show has been a resounding success. A record number of aircraft lined the static display and billions of dollars in aircraft and engine orders were tallied. Yet this 10th airshow will be the last at what is now Dubai International Airport (DXB). When the aerospace industry next comes to the desert, it will be at the new Dubai World Central Airport now being built.
Action Aviation, the exclusive distributor of MD Helicopters in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Scandinavia, is showing the 6,500-pound MD902 in the static display. Though appearing at the Dubai Air Show for the first time, it made its first Middle East appearance at the Dubai Helishow in December last year, said Action Aviation managing director Mike Creed.
Saraya Aviation, a startup charter operator formed earlier this year in Abu Dhabi to serve the growing number of executive and government VIP customers seeking private travel in the Middle East, signed an order here yesterday for three Gulfstream G450s.
UAE-based Gulf Aerospace Company (Gaco) signed a MoU yesterday with Dubai World Central (DWC) to build a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in DWC’s Aviation City. Gaco is investing $50 million and leasing 260,000 square feet of land. It will thus form part of what Aviation City CEO Abdulla Al Qurashi has pledged to become the world’s largest MRO center.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise CEO Bob Johnson kicked off what promises to be a hectic week for the show’s sponsor yesterday morning by inking a global cooperation MoU with his GE Aviation counterpart, Scott Donnelly. There was news, too, of a major investment program planned for India and a strategic agreement with Dubai Airports.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Goodrich Corp. (Stand W436) opened its new maintenance and repair facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (JAFZA) just over three weeks ago. This Wednesday during the Dubai Air Show, the aerospace systems and services supplier will host an opening ceremony for customers, senior executives and other guests.
Mubadala Development Company has changed the name of its Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (GAMCO) subsidiary to Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies. The Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala (Stand W300) aims to grow its annual revenue from a current $300 million to $800 million by 2012.
Having run the airline since its first day of operations in 1985, Emirates executive vice chairman Maurice Flanagan has achieved an appropriate measure of fame as the hand that has guided the Dubai carrier to its current position, operating more than 100 jetliners and employing 30,000 people overall. Now, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has formally recognized that success by grant of a Legends Award and induction to its Hall of Fame.
Christened two years ago during the last Dubai Air Show, ExecuJet Aviation’s Middle East business jet handling and maintenance facility in some ways is a microcosm of the city itself.