XJet, which has been operating an FBO at Denver Centennial Airport since 2007, is opening a second base at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport. Last week, XJet founder and CEO Josh Stewart signed a 10-year lease agreement to establish an exclusive club and FBO service at the airport, which expects to see a doubling of private jet movements within the next five years. XJet has also committed to ultimately moving its headquarters to the UAE as it grows the company’s footprint in the Middle East.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai Airshow organizing firm F&E Aerospace (Booth 827) said that the show’s new venue is on schedule for completion, with just 90 days until Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects officially hands over the keys for the show site. The biennial event will take place November 17 to 21 at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Jebel Ali. This year, more than 60,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors are expected.
Gama Aviation’s Sharjah Airport FBO has posted a 75-percent increase in corporate aviation movements during the past 12 months. The company responded to the increased traffic by adding five new employees to serve its expanding customer base. The increased traffic demonstrates that the FBO has established itself as “the stress-free preferred gateway for business and private visitors to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” according to Dave Edwards, managing director, Gama Aviation Sharjah.
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
Hong Kong-based Pacific-China Aero Technology (PCAT) has signed an exclusive training agreement with global training provider CAE, which is based in Canada. PCAT is a new customer for CAE (Booth P1012) and will send pilots for training in the Gulfstream G450, Beechcraft King Air 350, Cessna Citation XLS, XL, Sovereign and III platforms. Pilot training begins in May on the Sovereign at CAE’s facility near New York City.
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 wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 racked up yet another city-pair speed record, flying the 6,329-nm trip between Melbourne, Fla., and Abu Dhabi, UAE, in 13 hours and 5 minutes nonstop. It cruised at an average speed of Mach 0.87, carrying five crew and two passengers. Once verified by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association, the record will be the flagship aircraft’s sixth city-pair milestone this year.
Recognizing there is a global lack of qualified aviation technical personnel, Mubadala Aerospace has signed a $1.3 million agreement with UAE University (UAEU) to train the next generation of Emirati technicians to work at Strata’s aircraft composite production facility.
Boeing and Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (Adasi) signed a teaming agreement on February 18 to support Boeing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the UAE, and to help develop that country’s own technical capabilities. The parties signed the agreement at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
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.