Civilian aviation regulation has effectively been removed from the control of the Saudi Arabian defense ministry following the death of former crown prince and defense minister, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in October.
VistaJet is committing three new long-range aircraft to the Middle East market, with an order for a pair of Bombardier Challenger 850 business jets and a Global 5000. Chairman and founder Thomas Flohr said the company is seeing strong demand for its flexible-use programs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. He believes that by the end of 2012 the Middle East will account for 15 percent of VistaJet revenues.
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Sakhir Airbase is set to host its second Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) early next year (Jan. 19-21, 2012). As of press time, the event was almost completely sold out in terms of exhibit space with just one remaining chalet unit available.
Politicians viewing air transport as a soft target are the greatest threat to the air transport industry, according to the secretary general of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
The ambitious development plan to expand Oman’s Muscat Airport has been accelerated with the Oman Airport Management Co. advancing the opening date to October 2014. The project had run into delays after tropical cyclone Gonu in 2007, which led to the decision to remove basements and underground areas, resulting in a complete redesign.
The Israeli ministry of tourism announced plans for the construction of a new international airport scheduled to open in 2014. Located in Timna, near the southern seaside resort town of Eilat, the new $422 million facility will replace two existing airports in the region and will offer a light rail system directly into Eilat.
Partly driven by a need to speed up the processing of overflight and landing permit applications for its clients, Hadid International recently expanded its presence in India with a new office in the capital, Delhi. Vice CEO Rasoul Taljo told AIN that business aircraft traffic has continued to grow steadily in India, despite bureaucracy and infrastructure hurdles.
Bombardier delivered a pair of CRJ900s into Iraqi Airways service in July following an Iraqi payment of security equal to the value of the aircraft to Kuwait Airways. The Canadian manufacturer has now delivered six of the 10 CRJ900s originally ordered by Iraq and, according to a Bombardier spokesman, continues to work toward delivering the remaining four.
Middle East Business Aviation Association chairman Ali Al Naqbi is proposing to set up an informal working group, dubbed “Middle East Control,” to achieve integrated air traffic services across the Gulf region. With 22 jurisdictions covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Al Naqbi is aware he has a lot of work ahead.
The Gulf region is recognized as one of the key markets for private aviation, and Middle East Business Aviation Association chairman Ali Al Naqbi is determined to help shape it as a safe one. To this end he is proposing to set up an informal working group dubbed “Middle East Control,” rather like the early days of Eurocontrol when the six founding member states collaborated to achieve integrated air traffic services across Europe.