Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi took a step toward its goal of becoming “the best business aviation airport in the world” in the words of general manager Steve Jones, with the introduction of its branded FBO, DhabiJet, at EBACE yesterday.
Converted from a military field to a dedicated business and general aviation facility, Al Bateen Airport (Stand 336) is owned by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), and $50 million has been spent on the transition so far. Mohammed Al Bulooki, vice president of the airport, noted that the past three years of development have focused on safety and certification, and with Phase 1 complete, “Phase 2 is the service.” Pauline Smith, formerly of Harrods Aviation, has been named senior FBO manager.
Housed in the existing executive terminal, DhabiJet aims to provide a “one-stop shop” for business aircraft and passengers. Work has already commenced on an operations center and a crew facility with lounge, showers and other amenities.
DhabiJet’s goals include providing the fastest possible “door-to-door” transit time for passengers and crew, full on-site support for immigration and customs and a full range of competitively priced FBO services. Jones did not rule out having other providers establish FBOs on the airport in the future, but said that ADAC preferred to develop a homegrown capability initially, bringing Arabian hospitality to the FBO arena.
“We really believe this FBO will take us to the next level,” Jones said.