The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defending its plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport staffed by its Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency but mostly funded by the host UAE government. Airline industry groups contend the facility will mainly benefit Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s government-owned airline, and place U.S.
United Arab Emirates
The 13th edition of the Dubai Airshow (Chalet D-50) is expected to break its own record of 56,548 attendees in 2011 to more than 60,000 visitors this year, a 6-percent increase. The show will also have a bigger defense presence, particularly from the U.S., and as the region’s commercial aviation ambitions expand, many aircraft orders are expected to be signed, said Sharief Fahmy, CEO of F&E Aerospace, which is responsible for the event’s management.
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.
Since 2007 XJet has been operating its award-winning XJet Club and FBO at Denver’s Centennial Airport, opening up the facility to transient customers in 2009. The facility offers “seven-star” service that has ranked the FBO top for two years running in AIN’s U.S. FBO Survey service provider category. Now, that service is to be extended to a new base at Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, part of the huge Dubai World Central (DWC) development.
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.
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
Hong Kong-based Pacific-China Aero Technology (PCAT) has signed an exclusive training agreement with global training provider CAE, which is based in Canada. PCAT is a new customer for CAE (Booth P1012) and will send pilots for training in the Gulfstream G450, Beechcraft King Air 350, Cessna Citation XLS, XL, Sovereign and III platforms. Pilot training begins in May on the Sovereign at CAE’s facility near New York City.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.