Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
The need for better regulation and firmer action to stem the tide of the so-called gray market in illegal charter flights will top the agenda at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC), which will be held in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on April 10. The event is organized by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which is taking the lead in pushing for firmer legal foundations to support the region’s fast-growing industry.
Gulfstream has a fleet of over 100 business aircraft owned and operated in the Arabian Gulf region, with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) representing strong customer basses in the large-cabin market.
After more than two years of negotiation, the governments of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed new terms covering the delivery of 48 Typhoon fighters. Under the original 2007 Project Salam contract, Saudi Arabia ordered 72 Typhoons, with BAE Systems acting as lead company for the Eurofighter consortium. The first 24 aircraft were delivered without issue, but the remaining 48 aircraft became the subject of debate.
AJW Group has appointed Michael Duncan as its regional director for Africa. Duncan will be responsible for developing the company’s presence and establishing partnerships with operators who need integrated aircraft support services. Previously Duncan was responsible for aviation projects in the Sudan, Comoros, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) plans to draft policies and procedures that will provide baseline regulations for business aviation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference, which will be held in Dubai just before the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show from Dec. 8 to 10 next year. MEBAA founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi said the introduction of these policies and procedures had been on the association’s agenda for some time.
The recently appointed head of Saudi Arabia-based luxury charter firm Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) said Middle East charter demand growth stood at 8 percent this year, exceeding the worldwide industry figure, but behind Russia, India and the Asia Pacific region.
Faisal G. Kayal, managing director of SPA, said the region is witnessing “strong economic growth.” Kayal replaced Wajdi Al Idrissi, the former head of the company, in May.
Thirty students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have gone to Canada to train to become air traffic controllers as part of an agreement between Nav Canada and Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation. The students expect to complete all their required training at the Nav Centre, described by Nav Canada as its world-class training and conferencing facility in Cornwall, Ontario.
Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), a key figure in the development of business aviation in the region, confirmed recently that the MEBA 2014 Show will take place at the new Dubai World Central Expo site, where the current Dubai Airshow is taking place.
The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has approved Jordan as its 72nd affiliate, making it the seventh IAOPA Middle Eastern affiliate after Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Israel and Egypt. “From an IAOPA and global general aviation perspective, we are excited to see GA take root in the Middle East and for governments there to recognize its economic importance,” said IAOPA secretary general Craig Spence.