UAE Focus

A rendering of the terminal.

A rendering of the terminal.

DWC to develop major business aviation hub

January 2015

DUBAI World Central (DWC), the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis, has announced plans to develop a major facility which will cater exclusively to business aviation.

The 6,000-sq-m Executive Terminal will be located at DWC’s Aviation District in Dubai, and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The facility will host Jet Aviation, XJet and Jetex as key fixed-based operators (FBOs).

Speaking at the Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) exhibition held at DWC last month, Rashed Bu Qara’a, the chief operating officer of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, said: “DWC is partnering with industry leaders to build a complete ecosystem for a world-class aerotropolis, and the Executive Terminal is a step in the right direction.”

“Providing integrated access to both the land side and air side, Aviation District enables the seamless functioning of fixed-based operations and is, therefore, ideally placed to host a project of this magnitude,” he noted.

The other key features of the terminal include dedicated facilities for customs, immigration and police, separate drop-off and executive lounge areas to ensure full privacy, as well as walkable, direct access to the apron.

Khaled Al Mulla, the chairman of Al Mulla Investment Group, Jet Aviation’s local partner, said: “In keeping with our role as leaders in the FBO and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) sector, we took a strategic decision to transfer our operations to the Aviation District due to the heavy air traffic at Dubai International Airport.”

DWC, he stated, had the ideal infrastructure, competitive pricing and the flexibility for the company to do business, especially with regards to technical stops, where flights from Europe land for technical check-ups or for refuelling purposes.

Founder and CEO Josh Stewart of XJet, a US-headquartered private aviation service provider, said: “XJet has been committed to bringing its award-winning business model to the Middle East for a number of years. DWC provides us with the perfect location to launch our exclusive club and transient operations.

“We are incredibly excited to have been awarded a licence to operate at the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis. The world-class set-up at DWC has encouraged us to relocate our global headquarters to our new facility which will be opening in 2015.”

Services at the terminal will be supported by a VIP completion centre being set up by Falcon Aviation, a leading VIP jet and helicopter service provider based in Abu Dhabi, which last month broke ground on the project.

The $80-million facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. Spread across 13,705 sq m, the facility will provide enhanced and customised services to VIP customers and will also feature a state-of-the-art hangar equipped to accommodate up to an Airbus A380.

Meanwhile, DWC signed a strategic agreement last month with STTS Group, a major player in aircraft painting. Under the agreement, the STTS Group, headquartered in Blagnac, France, will invest in a multi-purpose facility worth over Dh150 million ($40 million) that will cater to narrow-body airlines, VIP aircraft as well as business jets. The business case could develop into a capacity to service wide-body aircraft, including the Airbus A380.

Scheduled for completion in Q1 of 2017, it will be the Middle East’s first, independent aircraft facility to utilise state-of-the-art OEM (original equipment manufacturer)-approved painting technology. It will be built to handle 25 wide-body aircraft and 35 narrow-body aircraft on an annual basis.

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