This website uses cookies
More information
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Why visit ACE ’24?

Related background information from the Handbook...

British Business and General Aviation Association

Gama Aviation
Charter

Gama Aviation
FBO/Handler (Glasgow)

Gama Aviation
FBO/Handler (Jersey)

Gama Aviation Engineering
Maintenance

Associations

BAN's World Gazetteer

U.K.
Jersey
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Request your printed copy

Gama founder Khalek acclaimed for outstanding service
BBGA deputy chair Alex Durand presented Marwan Khalek with the Outstanding Services accolade at the association’s AGM. He was praised for his exemplary leadership, not just at Gama, but to the wider industry.
Gama Aviation founder Marwan Khalek is recognised for his outstanding services to the general aviation industry.
Read this story in our May 2022 printed issue.

Marwan Khalek, co-founder of Gama Aviation, entrepreneur and prolific crusader of on-demand aviation, is this year’s recipient of the British Business and General Aviation Association’s prestigious Michael Wheatley Award for Outstanding Services to the general aviation industry.

Khalek is a respected, successful entrepreneur with a proven track record over nearly four decades. Together with business partner Steve Wright, he has evolved Gama Aviation from a fledgling air taxi business in the early 80s to a global aviation services group spanning business aviation, special mission, technology and outsource sectors, employing 1,000 people.

BBGA chair Aoife O’Sullivan says: “Our association has benefited greatly from Marwan’s knowledge and expertise over many years, for which we are very grateful. On a personal basis, I have enjoyed his infuriating ability to put lawyers in their place, fight a contract like a QC on a mission and yet always remain a friendly face – always respectful and engaging.”

Khalek graduated as an engineer and originally worked in the furniture trade. During his studies he learned to fly and gained a PPL on the Isle of Wight, swiftly identifying an opportunity to merge his business and aeronautical skills. Acquiring its first piston-engined Beech Baron in 1983, Gama Aviation’s first passengers were jockeys and sponsors for horse races. In 1984 and coming out of the recession, Marwan moved the Fairoaks airport-based business into Beechcraft King Airs, spotting a gap in the market when Leavesden-based Eagle Aircraft Services ceased operations.

Khalek has passionately called for the industry to get on the front foot to promote the value of business aviation as an enabler. “We want to see more people in our church,” he would regularly rally during his eight years as chair of BBGA. He has held several positions within the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and remains a committed board member today. He is also an honorary member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Khalek’s business partner Gama Aviation CCO and co-founder Steve Wright adds: “His passion and positive attitude is an example to us all. For as long as I have known him, Marwan has been committed to the aviation industry and to the company he started. This accolade is especially rewarding as Michael Wheatley was a friend to us both. Together we created a successful formula. Marwan forged strong business relationships, allowing me to concentrate on the flying. When we met at the beginning of the 80s, Marwan was already a private pilot and upgraded to a commercial pilot at Oxford airport. This enabled him to understand customer requirements and help us develop an exemplary service for our customers. We have had a few challenges over the years; economic recessions, 9/11 and the pandemic to name just a few. Yet Marwan’s passion and positive attitude is an example to us all. We have been enjoying aviation together for the last 40 plus years. It would be great to be granted permission for a 50-year fly past over the Tower of London.”

EBAA CEO Athar Husein Khan adds: “Marwan is deservedly recognised for his fine contributions to our industry. He has been an active EBAA board of governors member since 2011. I have always cherished and appreciated Marwan’s opinions and feedback. He is very focused and demanding, but also has always been very supportive of the industry in general, especially to EBAA and BBGA.”

“I am delighted that Marwan’s exceptional contribution to our industry is being properly recognised with this prestigious award. For more than 20 years he has worked passionately in the best interests of all our members. First as chairman and then as president of EBAA, I found his support, leadership and commitment invaluable. Many congratulations,” adds Signature Flight Support senior advisor and former EBAA chair and president Brian Humphries.

“Marwan has been an integral part of the growth of business aviation in the UK. I had the privilege to first work with him when I chartered Gama Aviation's then one aircraft, Beech Baron G-GAMA, from Fairoaks airport and then its first King Air 200. Steering what is now the Gama Aviation Group from these formative beginnings into the global business it is today has been a truly remarkable achievement. Many of us enjoy Marwan's company and friendship. This award is deserved recognition of an unwavering commitment to business aviation, far beyond the interests of Gama Aviation for 40 years," says Hunt and Palmer director executive aviation Neil Harvey.

Michael Wheatley held a leading role in the support advisory services to the UK police and ambulance authorities and leading financial institutions. He died in 2006 and BBGA created the award in his name. Recent previous recipients include Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, Tim Scorer, Penny Stephens, Phil Lammiman, Brian Humphries and Andrew Walters.

Other News
 
Waguespack appointed to The ACA international board
June 3, 2024
Ryan Waguespack will be a great asset in advising upon and directing The ACA initiatives within the North American region. The association warmly welcomes the wealth of expertise he brings to the table.
The ACA launches online hub for member communications
June 3, 2024
Efficient channels of communication are vital to the function of The ACA, as it relies on feedback and data from members to drive forward initiatives in the interests of the membership and the wider air charter industry.
OPUL ups connectivity through Starlink deal
May 30, 2024
The Starlink system promises download speeds ranging from 40 to 220Mbps and upload speeds of 8 to 25Mbps, with latency under 99 milliseconds. This allows passengers to stay connected for business and live events.