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. The latter will eventually handle all types of aircraft, from light jets to superjumbos, its promoters claim.
DWC’s Aviation City, to be spread over 2.6 square miles, is an AED5 billion ($1.6 billion) project. Besides the MRO center, DWC Aviation City will feature a 17-pad heliport, academies and an aircraft component hub. In addition, an industrial zone will offer an integrated infrastructure for those companies that want to settle there. Construction on DWC Aviation City has already started, with operations set to start in 2009.
DWC’s Al Maktoum International airport will go live by late 2008. It is designed to eventually handle 120 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo annually. The first of six runways at DWC has been completed in the past weeks. It has Cat III landing equipment and is 14,700 feet long.
Under current plans, the existing Dubai International airport will stay open. However, it remains to be seen which categories of traffic will move to DWC; for example, the eventual home base of flag carrier Emirates Airline is still to be determined.