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MENA Region's First Private Jet Airport Unveiled

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

17 November 2008


The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has unveiled an identity makeover for the city's dedicated private jet airport.

The airport, which was formerly the Al Bateen airbase, will be renamed City Airport, Abu Dhabi as part of the overhaul.

City Airport, Abu Dhabi is the first and only dedicated private jet airport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and is satisfying increasing demand from individuals and carriers within the region. The new identity was revealed at the Middle East Business Aviation Show (MEBA) in Dubai, where more than 5,000 industry professionals gathered from over 27 countries.

The airport is a boutique business jet facility perfectly situated to accommodate the MENA region's growing business jet industry. The number of charter flights departing out of Abu Dhabi airport has increased 46% year-on-year since 2004, and the General Civil Aviation Authority has recently had applications from more than two dozen new firms for licences to fly out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

ADAC is investing more than AED200m (USD54m) in additional facilities at the airport, which is set to be developed as an exclusive corporate jet facility offering 7-star services to all clients. Stand capacity is set to grow from 50 to over 120 spaces, with specific areas in hangars for the maintenance of differently sized aircraft. A new Instrument Landing System and the latest Global Positioning System technology will be installed.

The airport will also incorporate a 'one-stop shop' business jet facility, VIP and main passenger terminals, 24 hour access, airport services, maintenance, repair and overhaul, fuel, handling and all other fixed-base operational services.

Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Khalifa bin Mazrouei, commented:

"Our plans for City Airport, Abu Dhabi will put it firmly at the centre of the incredible growth of business aviation services in the region. It is the first airport in the Middle East to be dedicated solely to business jets, part of the Abu Dhabi government's strategy to develop the Emirate's economy over the coming years and to take advantage of upcoming industry developments."

Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President of Airline Marketing and Aeronautical Revenue at ADAC, remarked:

"The company has been closely monitoring the private jet business industry and we have made sure that we do not wait and react to the demands of this particular segment in aviation, rather we have made sure that we will not only ensure sustainability but also growth in this sector."

"Individuals who fly private jets are decision makers who value their time and therefore the convenience offered by using private jets. At ADAC, we have now made sure those clients with their own jets, will now also have their own airport", he added.

The International Air Transport Association estimates a growth rate for the aviation sector in the Middle East of 6.8% for the years 2007-2011, with the corporate jet sector an important element of that market.

Recent studies have estimated that there are currently 388 corporate jets based in the Middle East, with the major markets being Saudi Arabia (143 aircraft in 2007) and the UAE (43 aircraft).

By 2014, it is forecast there will be 900 corporate jets based in the region.


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