News Clips from Dubai 2009
Jet Aviation Joins JSSI’s Network of Mx Providers
Jet Aviation of Basel, Switzerland, has signed a service agreement with Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) to provide maintenance and supply spare parts to JSSI and its clients. Independently owned JSSI provides hourly cost maintenance programs for aircraft engines and airframes. Jet Aviation, which is owned by General Dynamics, will provide JSSI’s service at its facilities in Basel, Geneva, Zurich, Dusseldorf, London Biggin Hill, Dubai and Singapore.
328 Support Services Wins FAA Repair Status
328 Support Services has been awarded U.S. FAA Repair Station status for the Dornier 328JET and 328 turboprop. CEO Dave Jackson said this approval will allow the company “to expand into the U.S. market and offer VIP conversions [there].” Until now the Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany-based company has been able to carry out its VIP conversions of Fairchild Dornier 328s and 328JETs only in Europe but now it reports it is progressing well with its first N-registered, 12-seat VIP conversion for Aviando Services of Miami, Florida, which is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2010. 328 Support Services and Action Aviation, the company’s Middle East distributor, are exhibiting a 328JET of DC Aviation in the static park (Pavilion 10).
Kuwait Pursues Patriot Upgrades
Raytheon has won a $20.5 million foreign military sales contract in support of a planned upgrade for Kuwait’s Patriot air-defense missiles. The contracting agency is the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and Raytheon will supply parts to enable Patriot Configuration-3 system upgrades. This is the latest Patriot technology, with radar enhancements providing improved detection of small targets in heavy clutter environments, and the ability to better discriminate and identify tactical ballistic missile warheads. Configuration-3 also has expanded remote launch capability, in turn allowing greater area defense coverage.
Airbus’ Offers A320 Dual-role Conversion Kit
Toulouse-based Airbus Corporate Jet Center, an Airbus joint venture with Switzerland-based VIP charter operator Comlux, is offering a kit to turn the forward area of a passenger A320 into a VIP section. The first kit is to be delivered to a Middle Eastern customer in the second quarter of next year. It includes six seats and two variable-height tables. It also features leather upholstery, woolen carpets and special curtains.
Babcock Bids for Middle East Support Roles
Support services group Babcock International is looking to break into the Middle East market with the recent opening of a new regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The UK-based group is a major provider of engineering support services and training to all branches of the British armed forces and sees increasing opportunities to play similar roles in this part of the world. Representing the new Babcock Middle East subsidiary here at the Dubai Airshow are business development manager Michelle Townsend and aerospace division managers Brian Hoskins and Rick Peacock-Edwards. Babcock believes pressure on defense budgets will prompt government to outsource more support services to private-sector vendors. It is competing for a tender to manage defense facilities for the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this year it won a contract to provide flight training for the South African air force.
Gulfjet Restarts, Looks for More Aircraft
Dubai-based business jet operator Gulfjet restarted operations last week after a short absence from the market. The operator, which was started in 2006, has the same aircraft that it started with–two Cessna Citation XLS and a Citation Sovereign (which is in the airshow static park)–but has rebranded and appointed a new CEO, Ian McEwan, who is also chief pilot. “I was brought in six weeks ago to reactivate the AOC, rebrand, set up operations, get the aircraft serviceable again and restart operations,” said McEwan. The company is owned by local banker Hussain Al Meeza. Gulfjet is at the show evaluating its options for adding further aircraft.