The business aviation market in the Middle East is now at a crucial stage in its development and is poised to reach an annual value of $1 billion by 2018, according to Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).
In late September, the U.S. Pentagon announced that the first payment had been made concerning the supply of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to Iraq, ending a period of delay due to budgetary issues and speculation about whether the contract would proceed.
Show organizer F&E Aerospace has designated Thursday as the Dubai AIr Show’s inaugural Futures Day, which will be dedicated to inspiring the UAE’s young people to build careers in the industry. The day will focus on the recruitment, education, and training of home-grown talent.
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.
Iran is continuing its global, coordinated and illegal campaign to smuggle Bell helicopters and spares to keep its fleet flying in contravention of international arms embargoes. Several high-profile international arrests in late May, one in London and the remainder in Spain, point to a fresh round of smuggling activity.
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.
Bombardier has designated two new AOG and line maintenance facilities (LMF) in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region. Arab Wings of Amman, Jordan, is now an AOG LMF for the Challenger 604 and 605. Arab Wings began operations in 1975 and offers charter, aircraft management, handling, dispatch and maintenance service. It is located on Jordan’s Amman Civil Airport.
Comlux Middle East is one of the latest companies to commit to participate in the Bahrain Airshow, scheduled for January 19 to 21 next year. At EBACE on May 17, Richard Gaona, president of Comlux The Aviation Group (Stand 142), announced the participation of subsidiary Comlux Middle East.