The crash of a Spanish Air Force two-seat Eurofighter at Moron airbase on August 24 that killed a pilot from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has raised questions about the progress of the al-Salam agreement between the UK and Saudi governments. This $6.6 billion deal provided for the training of RSAF pilots and ground crew by the UK Royal Air Force, as well as the supply of 72 Eurofighters and various support services by BAE Systems.
Israel has agreed to acquire 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), despite U.S. reluctance to permit their modification with Israeli-designed equipment. Recent talks in Washington between Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed a compromise that was first revealed at the Farnborough airshow.
Reports from Washington suggest that a new arms package being assembled for Saudi Arabia could reach record proportions, as much as $60 billion. Another 80-plus F-15 fighters could be offered, along with about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk and up to 60 AH-64 Apache helicopters.
The success of the inaugural Bahrain International Airshow earlier this year paved the way for the announcement that the second biennial show will be held Jan. 19 to 21, 2012. The event is organized by Farnborough show organizer Farnborough International Ltd. in partnership with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s department of Civil Aviation Affairs.
Last February’s Singapore Airshow defied the economic downturn to draw 62 of the world’s top 100 aerospace companies. The next event in 2012 has already sold 70 percent of its enlarged exhibit space and if you want to join those already booked you have until this Friday here at the Farnborough show (Chalet 31) to book space at special rates.
While it looks forward to accepting its first TAI/AgustaWestland T129 attack helicopter, Turkey is urgently seeking interim helicopter gunships in the face of increased terrorist actions by the PKK and other Kurdish separatist groups. The situation has become desperate as Turkey's current force of Bell AH-1W Cobras has fallen to just six operational aircraft, plus a few earlier single-engine Cobras.
The Central Europe Private Aviation (Cepa) group has formed an affiliated organization called Southeast Europe Private Aviation (Sopa). This new group will focus initially on representing the interests of the business aviation industry in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. According to Cepa chairman Dagmar Grossmann, these countries are positioned in the heart of expected, and significant, business aviation growth in the region.
The prospect of involuntarily bankruptcy is all too real for many airlines around the world. But the government of Iraq is poised to voluntarily take Iraqi Airways out of business as a way to avoid a 20-year-old legal dispute with Kuwait Airways.
Rizon Jet’s two FBOs at London Biggin Hill and Doha, Qatar, are set to open in July. Both facilities are similar in size and design, although the Qatar facility includes separate prayer rooms for male and female passengers.
The Harrods Aviation FBOs at London Luton and Stansted airports, as well as helicopter charter operator Air Harrods, have been sold as part of a $2.2 billion transaction that saw Qatar Holdings acquire the Harrods retail group from Mohammed al-Fayed last month.