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Falcon consolidates maintenance and expects first PC-24
Falcon has been spinning many plates this year, but is managing to keep them all up. Charter ops are buoyant, a new PC-24 is on the way, MRO capabilities are expanding and it has initiated a training partnership.
Falcon Aviation's new MRO facility in DWC is due to be formally opened in Q1 2019.
Read this story in our February 2019 printed issue.

Falcon Aviation is enhancing its MRO remit and will soon commence a new offshore oil and gas contract with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). It is also preparing to enter a PC-24 into service, and says it is gearing up to be a more active player in the regional aircraft market.

A shift in its business in the UAE will see its established Al Bateen Executive airport, Abu Dhabi headquarters evolve into a turboprop MRO base, supporting the Bombardier Q400.

“Business jet MRO will become more focused on our new DWC Dubai facilities, freeing up space at Al Bateen for regional aircraft types, a sector that is also getting busy,” says director of maintenance Nicolas Tejera.

The DWC MRO is due to be formally opened in Q1 2019, and will initially support the Embraer Legacy and Lineage families.

The decision to specialise in business jet base maintenance at DWC is very much in line with market demand, according to COO Raman Oberoi. He expects the DWC base to grow in significance, complementing the Falcon Aviation FBO in the VIP terminal of Dubai South facility, and the Falcon Aviation managed DWC Heliport, which runs under its AOC. Falcon Aviation is anticipating upped demand during December and to highlight its capabilities in the helicopter charter market it showcased a Leonardo AW169 helicopter in VIP layout in the static at the recent MEBAA show.

Falcon Aviation has also entered into a partnership with Honeywell Aerospace, becoming an authorised channel partner in the UAE. This marks the first dealership for a large second tier supplier, complementing its long-standing status with airframe OEMs like Leonardo, Bell, Airbus Helicopters, Bombardier, Embraer and Pilatus.

With an 800 m by 200 m wide heliport at Kuwait Oil Company's newly-built premises, Falcon is preparing to commence a five-year onshore and offshore oil and gas contract with KOC this month. It has built up a workforce of 38, including 15 pilots and eight engineers, all of them trained and licensed. As part of the contract, Falcon Aviation constructed a new hangar to house its Leonardo AW169 helicopter fleet for this project. These were ordered at the Dubai Air Show last year, for delivery this year. Prior to MEBAA, Oberoi was in Italy to discuss the project with Leonardo customer support and to explore the possibilities of adding more helicopters in the future.

With Falcon Aviation's first Pilatus PC-24 aircraft arriving next September, it is finalising the paint scheme and the interiors for the type. The PC-24 will be its 12th aircraft type, and will be used for charter operations. Introducing a new model presents challenges to Falcon Aviation, but the team is excited. “It will fit efficiently in the 1,800 nm to 2,000 nm range sector, so it's really a new space for us," says Oberoi. "We will be gearing up with tooling and spares to support its maintenance."

In September, Falcon partnered with the University of South Wales' new Dubai University, set up to offer bachelor's degree in aircraft maintenance. The company is contributing by offering on-the-job training in a Part 145 organisation for students during the third year of their course. “This is a great initiative for students to train in the modern global aviation hub of Dubai and we were happy to be among the first companies to get involved,” states Oberoi.

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