Cargo carrier UPS has begun installing new systems in its aircraft to help contain intense fires such as the one that brought down UPS Flight 6, a Boeing 747-400 freighter, on Sept. 3, 2010, in Dubai. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued its final report on the crash on July 24. The report suggests that a shipment of lithium batteries possibly caught fire and led to the fatal crash.
Dubai International Airport
Fast-growing Bahrain International Airport (BIA) is expanding its present terminal by 50 percent to accommodate 13.5 million passengers. The $1 billion expansion project will provide an additional terminal area of 90,000 sq m and 10,000 sq m of retail space. Construction of the new BIA terminal is scheduled to start at the end 2014 with Phase 1 to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.
The General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates on June 4 announced plans to add two routes between the UAE and Bahrain, bringing the total number to three, to increase system capacity and improve traffic flow. No implementation date was announced for the new routes, which were created in partnership with the Dubai Foundation for Air Navigation Services.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is to close both runways over a period of almost three months next year in a major refurbishment program that will lead to the diversion of scheduled passenger flights, as well as all Emirates SkyCargo aircraft, to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). The work at one of the world’s busiest intercontinental hubs is due to take 80 days and will start on May 1 next year.
A new Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aviation study predicts that the Persian Gulf region will see 250 million passengers using its airports each year by 2020 and that annual Middle East aircraft movements will reach 2.3 million five years later, when the number of people living within range of a single flight reaches some 7 billion. The study, titled “The World Via Gulf” and published for Dubai’s The Airport Show, scheduled to take place from May 6 to 8 in Dubai, concludes that the region’s aviation industry will create 294,000 jobs over the next two decades.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
The withdrawal of Kingfisher Airlines’ domestic airport slots and international flying rights by India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation on February 25 could make a phased restart of the carrier even more challenging. Meanwhile, authorities have de-registered 13 of the 37 aircraft parked in India, but airports haven’t allowed lessors to claim their assets until Kingfisher pays pending dues totaling $72 million.
“[Kingfisher has] to give some guarantee [to pay], said Airports Authority of India chairman V.P. Agrawal. “Bank checks worth $21 million…bounced. A legal issue is going on.”
Jet Aviation Dubai has opened an FBO at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport. The company was granted permission to operate an FBO at the field permanently following its appointment as the dedicated ground handling service provider for MEBA 2012 in December, which was held for the first time at Al Maktoum Airport.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show made a strong debut in its new home at the Dubai World Central site, with organizers reporting attendance 20 percent up on the 2010 event at 7,549 trade visitors from 84 countries. The 2012 show drew 385 exhibitors from 45 countries, a 14-percent boost on the previous event.
The first airplane carrying revenue passengers from Dubai International Airport’s newly opened concourse in Terminal 3 took off Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. local time on its way to London Heathrow Airport. Emirates Airline Flight EK003 officially marked the opening of Concourse A–the world’s first dedicated to Airbus A380 operations.