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 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.
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.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association is hosting the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation Conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 4. The conference, to be held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation president H.H. Prince Fahd bin Abdulla bin Muhammad, will gather prominent leaders of the region’s aviation sector to discuss the issues affecting the Kingdom’s business aviation market. Business aviation in Saudi Arabia is quickly growing and is one the segment’s biggest markets among the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) is close to rounding out its roster of founding members with the announcement that Hadid International Services has been selected as its penultimate charter member. According to the organization, the UAE-based flight support services provider was invited to join as a result of its strong reputation for delivering exceptional services, its existing presence in Africa and its ongoing commitment to developing business aviation in the region. AfBAA expects to announce its 20th and final founding member soon.
A Bell 412 helicopter played a key role in the December 2 celebration of the United Arab Emirates National Day, towing the world’s largest banner–the UAE national flag–along the seaside Corniche. The banner was visible from 20 kilometers as the Falcon Aviation Services helicopter towed the massive 4,600-sq-m flag. The celebration also included hot air balloon rides, aerial aerobatic demonstrations and fireworks.
According to Avinode (Stand 212), the Sweden-based aviation business intelligence house and charter marketplace, although Turkey has been experiencing major growth in business aviation in recent times, with an increase of 4.8 percent from January to October, this has now been hit by the effect of the conflict in neighboring Syria.
As the phenomenal growth in the Middle East air transport sector gathers momentum, attention is turning to how to manage the increased numbers of airliners now on order when they enter the skies above the Persian Gulf. This is especially true in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region–home to Emirates Airline, Etihad and Qatar Airways–where governments have risen to the challenge of air traffic management, and now thoughts are turning to how to mount a regional effort to maximize air traffic efficiency.
Bahrain Air got started close to the onset of the global economic slowdown and has found it hard to escape its grip. Incorporated in 2007 and operating its first flight in February 2008, the carrier has struggled to thrive in the cut-throat arena of the Arabian Gulf’s air transport market.
Privately owned Bahrain Air continues to struggle to establish its place in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, which has a proliferation of flag carriers and no-frills operators. After making its first passenger flight in February 2008, Bahrain Air has seen its passenger count rise to 720,000 in 2010, only to decrease to 640,000 last year, amid the global economic downturn and the internal troubles of its home country.
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