Middle East bizav group is ‘still there and still growing’

 - May 23, 2007, 6:06 AM

The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) has grown to 41 members since the last EBACE show, up from 30. Demand for business aviation products and services in the Middle East “is still there and still growing,” said Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, MEBAA founding chairman. “That’s a good sign.”

MEBAA, here at Booth No. 249, counts about 350 fixed-wing business aircraft in the Middle East, which also includes North Africa, Egypt and Turkey. Current efforts by the growing association include meeting with Middle East regulatory authorities to plan how to work together to promote safety and procedures for business aviation activities in the region. “Safety is a priority for us,” said Al Naqbi, “we need to raise it to a high standard.”

Another long-term objective for MEBAA is to offer training to help people involved in aviation raise their skill levels and learn more about business aviation. At MEBAA’s VLJ conference in April, held in Dubai, much discussion revolved around infrastructure needed to support very light jets in the Middle East. “MEBAA was there to raise awareness,” said Al Naqbi.