Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), a key figure in the development of business aviation in the region, confirmed recently that the MEBA 2014 Show will take place at the new Dubai World Central Expo site, where the current Dubai Airshow is taking place.
“MEBAA has already cemented its place as the ‘voice of business aviation in the region.’ At the Dubai Airshow we would reiterate this position through series of activities like seminars and workshops,” he said. He said this year’s airshow would give MEBAA the chance to discuss measures to respond to membership growth, discuss market-based mechanisms for green gas emissions and participation in IBAC forums on emissions controls.
He said there is a need for a “separate set of regulations for business aircraft and crew training, licensing and career progression issues to meet impending crew shortages and to improve local availability. “We also need to motivate youth in the region to take up aviation as a career,” he said.
On tackling the gray charter market, an issue which has slowed bizav’s progress in the region, he said more needed to be done. “I do feel there is progress but it is slow and measured. [We have raised] awareness of the gray market. We are in the process of appointing a study team on the subject.”
In June, MEBAA organised a bizav symposium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “We shall be having anther regional event in Saudi Arabia, by the beginning of second quarter 2014,” he said.
A recent conference was also organised to focus on African bizav in Marrakech, Morocco. “North Africa is an integral part [of the MEBAA region] and we are committed to developing our activity there,” Al Naqbi said. “This event [brought] MEBAA into greater focus in the North African region.”