In a major deal announced at the Dubai Air Show last month, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior ordered 40 Sikorskys. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in March.
Sikorsky subsidiary Schweizer is developing a derivative of the existing Schweizer 333 light single. The 434 will offer improved payload and performance, a Schweizer marketing executive told AIN. The launch customer is Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior, which has ordered nine.
Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the stratospheric ambitions of the Middle East air transport sector generally, and mind-boggling wealth of the Arabian Gulf states in particular, had expected the 2007 Dubai Airshow to be an epic event. But it is doubtful that anyone outside the top tiers of the region’s airline managements really anticipated the volume of business announced over just five days (November 11 to 15).
Two years after 9/11, Dubai’s biennial air show will declare itself to be firmly back to business as usual when it opens next month (December 7 to 11) in the United Arab Emirates. Last time, the event convincingly put on a brave face in the wake of 9/11 and the U.S.-led war against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan (just 500 miles north).
The UAE’s requirement for an airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft was another topic bubbling just under the surface at Dubai, [UAE SET TO MAKE AEW&C CHOICE FROM NORTHROP, BOEING OR SAAB] as reported in AIN’s Dubai Air Show Tuesday edition.
While record-breaking orders for airliners were announced, the just-completed Dubai Air Show, held from November 11 to 15, offered no big news for the defense industry. However, there were important developments across the border in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force is close to making important decisions about its future pilot training system.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. immediately cast doubt on the viability of next month’s Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates (November 4 to 8). However, at press time show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions said no consideration had yet been given to postponing or canceling the event.
This year’s election of Shimon Peres as Israel’s president could revitalize dormant plans for developing Jordan’s King Hussein International Airport at Aqaba as a regional hub to serve both countries. The airport sits at the north end of the Red Sea, across the Gulf of Aqaba from the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
Enthusiasm over a near 50-percent year-over-year jump in passenger traffic had reached a climax early in the summer of 2006 at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport when, in an instant, on July 13 Israeli bombs shattered and set ablaze all the good feelings along with vast chunks of runway and the airport’s main fuel tanks.
Action Aviation, the exclusive distributor of MD Helicopters in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Scandinavia, is showing the 6,500-pound MD902 in the static display. Though appearing at the Dubai Air Show for the first time, it made its first Middle East appearance at the Dubai Helishow in December last year, said Action Aviation managing director Mike Creed.