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.
DAE and GE plan to collaborate on the financing and leasing of aircraft, engines and spares; support operations, the location of engine maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities; services such as material management and supply and the repair of components and accessories; and the evaluation of opportunities for GE to support DAE in the management and operation of airports and their security systems.
“I think together we can develop some great innovative solutions for customers, not just here but in the rest of the world,” Johnson said. Donnelly said GE had been talking with DAE since the company started operations early this year and had found their positions in the marketplace aligned well. Johnson added that he hoped the outcome of the collaboration would prove “significant” and promised “definition and action” in 2008.
In India, the DAE boss continued, six of its business units will cover leasing, maintenance, component manufacturing, airport development, systems integration and pilot training. A world class aerospace research and development center is also part of the plan. The investment will amount to billions of dollars. Johnson said, “I’m sure India will be a significant customer, so I think a lot will happen in 2008.”
The agreement with Dubai Airports, the operator of Dubai International and the new Al Maktoum International airports here, is an MoU to evaluate the benefits of strategic long-term collaboration, harnessing their combined expertise. The first step is the formation of a joint steering committee.
Johnson said it would lead to DAE playing a key role in the Emirate’s airport development and a blueprint for future national and international projects. “This relationship will provide us with the necessary credentials and resources to pursue international airport development in the Middle East, China, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said his company already operates the region’s busiest aviation hub and the partnership would bring “huge benefits for Dubai’s economy, its aviation and aerospace sectors in general and the two organizations in particular. This agreement will further bolster our position and our vision to be the world’s aviation hub when Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central starts operations.”