Falcon Aviation Services
BAN's World GazetteerUnited Arab Emirates
Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) of Abu Dhabi sees the Grob spn as a "game changing short haul workhorse" that will help cement the new wider appeal of private aviation in the region.
The expanding vip helicopter charter and maintenance company has decided to acquire four - and the agreement was signed by chairman Salem Al-Kayoumi from FAS and Gerrit Basson, coo of ExecuJet Aviation Group, distributors globally of the spn outside North America.
But its plan to launch fixed wing vip charter operations will be launched with the acquisition of a G450 to cover the popular Abu Dhabi to London and Singapore routes. Al-Kayoumi says
the spn purchase decision came after a lengthy evaluation of other similar sized jets.
"The capability of the spn is going to be a significant game changer for business aviation in the Middle East," predicts FAS gm Philip Markham. "Some of the airports it will serve are runway-restricted for jets of this
class. The spn's unique operating characteristics are ideal for trips to these airports with privately-owned unpaved runways."
The four spns will be delivered to FAS from mid 2008 through to mid 2009 and will be based at the company's Bateen airport base, 10km from the city of Abu Dhabi.
FAS selected two aircraft with a six-seat executive layout and two aircraft with an eight-seat business interior layout with options for conversion to a dedicated air ambulance role. "The spn introduction in mid 2008 will allow us to offer the market a greater range of services. The spn will be our short haul workhorse, ideal for flights within the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries and as far as Beirut and beyond," says Al-Kayoumi.
Currently FAS military support operations provide 24/365 search and rescue (SAR) services to the UAE armed forces. Al-Kayoumi told EBAN in an interview that there were plans to expand the helicopter fleet to 12 with Dauphins prominent among choices.
FAS has eight helicopters including two A109 Powers for vip transport and air taxi charters and an EC135 and EC130 for aerial work and tourism. Two Bell 412s and two AW139s will be dedicated to search and rescue operations for the UAE armed forces, it says. Next June FAS is to take delivery of a third A109 Power.
The FAS development plan takes into account massive offshore and onshore property development with demand for viewing of homes on islands among requirements.
Al-Kayoumi says: "FAS sees itself as integral to the development of Abu Dhabi beyond oil and gas and will work closely with the government authorities and tourism operators to provide the specialised, individual services they require." FAS will work with strategic partners, including the seven star Emirates Palace Hotel for whom it already provides vip helicopter shuttles.
Markham says: "We are hoping to open up this form of transport by making it more convenient, accessible and more affordable."