Dubai commits to bizav at Al Maktoum Airport

 - November 16, 2008, 7:00 AM

Dubai Airports unveiled the new branding of its Executive Flights Centre during the first day at MEBA, and also revealed that part of the first terminal being built at the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali (also known as Dubai World Central) will be reserved for corporate aviation.

“Today we have unveiled our new logo and identity for what is a significant part of our business,” Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told a press conference here yesterday. He added that unlike some international airports, Dubai is committed to “growing our executive flight services operation.” Jamal Zaal, head of executive services with Dubai Airports, added that “the use of private jets is supported by our leaders, so we are looking at accommodating more traffic.”

The main bottleneck at the moment that could restrict growth is the amount of aircraft parking available at the existing Dubai International Airport. In 2007 the Executive Flights Centre FBO handled 9,400 flights, representing 5 to 7 percent of total movements. It had already seen more than 7,000 flights by the end of third quarter 2008, said Griffiths, who added that parking space close to the executive terminal is sufficient for three large aircraft, eight to 12 medium-sized jets or 22 smaller private jets.

“At some point we will also open an executive facility at DWC, but at the moment it’s all about the new executive terminal here, next to the [recently completed] Terminal 3.” He added that the executive terminal opened in April this year, and the first terminal at Al Maktoum International would open in October 2009. The first runway is scheduled to be operational from June 2009. “The first terminal will handle seven to eight million passenger movements, and we will segment part specifically for executive flights.

The next Dubai Air Show in November 2009 is due to be held at Al Maktoum International Airport. The biennial event, run by MEBA organizer Fairs & Exhibitions, has previously been staged here at Airport Expo Dubai.