Rizon’s pair of FBOs on the horizon

 - May 3, 2010, 9:13 AM

Rizon Jet is in the final stages of construction for two new FBOs in Europe and the Middle East. In July, it expects to open almost identical hangars with adjoining lounges and offices at London Biggin Hill Airport and at its Doha headquarters in Qatar.

The new 426,000-sq-ft complex at Biggin Hill consists of a large heated hangar with adjoining workshops and offices. At one end there is a split-level 5,800-sq-ft executive terminal with open seating areas on the ground floor and enclosed private lounges for passengers and crews on the floor above (with dimmed glass for extra privacy). Rizon also has its own ramp area for aircraft parking and is spending approximately $16 million on the new facility in London.

With Middle Eastern customers in mind, Rizon’s new facility will also include separate prayer rooms for male and female passengers. The interior designs for the new buildings reflect a combination of Arabian and contemporary European style.

The facility in Doha is of a similar size and design to that in Biggin Hill. This will include a 7,933-sq-ft terminal (with more private family lounges), workshops and offices covering almost 17,000 sq ft and an air-conditioned 43,000-sq-ft hangar, which is large enough to accommodate four Bombardier Global XRS aircraft or nine Challenger 605s. Immediately adjoining the building is a ramp area of 62,500 sq ft.

Bizav Service Group

According to CEO Patrick Enz, Rizon’s goal is to become a business aviation service group, offering aircraft charter, management and sales, as well as maintenance and handling. It is preparing to offer line maintenance in both Doha and London, and is also starting talks with manufacturers such as Bombardier and Hawker Beechcraft with a view to earning authorized service center status. Its new facilities will include avionics shops and battery stores.

The London and Doha operations already hold European and Qatari maintenance approvals. Later this year, Rizon expects to get approvals covering aircraft registered in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Aruba. The company is approved as a continuing airworthiness management organization.

From Doha, Rizon operates a fleet of five jets, including a pair of Challenger 605s and two Hawker Beechcraft 900XPs. It also flies a Global Express but this is exclusively for the use of its chairman Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad.

Oryx Jet Agreement

In March, Rizon (Booth No. 1185) signed an agreement with UK-based Oryx Jet, which has just been awarded its UK air operators certificate (AOC). Initially, Oryx will operate a Hawker Beechcraft Premier I on behalf of Rizon and hopes to add further aircraft to a managed fleet. Rizon, which already holds AOCs in Qatar and the UAE, has four of Bombardier’s new Learjet 85s on order and is due to receive the first of these in 2014.

Rizon was founded in 2006 and was initially headquartered in Bahrain. The group was bought by its current chairman in early 2008 and relocated to Doha in April 2009. By the end of 2011, the group expects to employ around 200 people, including 100 in the UK.

Doha-based Enz, who was appointed CEO in September 2009, was formerly business development vice president with Jet Aviation. Faisal Alam, formerly chief operating officer of Bahrain-based Delmun Aviation Services, is general manager of the company’s Middle East operations. Former ExecuJet Aviation technical director Jackie Nikolajsen is general manager of the Biggin Hill operation.