DUBAI SOUTH DEVELOPS
The Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) at Dubai South has recently welcomed a number of new facilities and new developments for business aviation.
MBRAH announced the creation of ‘Dubai Free Port,’ a super vault that will be used by VIP travellers and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) to store fine artworks and precious physical assets in secure facilities within a custom-bonded area. The first of its kind in the Middle East the project will be developed across two phases on 17,000 square-metre plots adjacent to the VIP Terminal at Dubai South.
Once complete, it will be directly accessible from the landside VIP Terminal or airside from the jet parking. The super vault will offer a variety of top custody and security services, including automatic, robot-driven, safe-deposit boxes; medium and large safes; ultra-secure private rooms; art storage rooms equipped with the latest temperature/humidity and fire suppression systems; and viewing, meeting rooms, lounges, and business desks.
Tahnoon Saif, CEO MBRAH, said: “We seek to establish a trailblazer in the luxury freeport business, especially as such facilities are well-established in Europe and Asia but not in the Middle East. The build-up of this vault will enable us to underline our value proposition to HNWIs and create a robust ecosystem that would cater to their demands, as well as position Dubai as a destination that offers everything travellers need.”
Another new development coming up next to the VIP Terminal will be the Dubai Helipark. Spread across an area of over 42,800 square metres, the centre be developed and delivered by Air Chateau International in two phases, with the first phase now operational and the second phase due to be completed by 2023.
When fully operational, the helicopter centre will be the largest of its kind, accommodating up to eight helicopters, each on a separate landing pad. The Helipark building will offer a VIP lounge travellers arriving into the VIP Terminal and the operating company Air Chateau will also provide Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) services and the potential for owners to lease a parking spot on the apron. Alongside the reception, facilities will be a showroom for the latest helicopters showcased by world-leading manufacturers and a training centre.
The training cluster is also seeing further development and international approval as Dynamic Advanced Training, the aviation specialist training facility at Dubai South, continues to expand its business aviation offering and enjoy a corresponding growth in clients from around the world.
Mark Kammer, Director of Operations, said: “We are the only cabin safety training centre in the Middle East, and possibly the most advanced in the world, that offers business jet specific SEP (Safety & Emergency Procedures) training. We have customers from Europe to China, but we have recently been picking up a lot of Saudi Arabian business jet operators, having recently received approval from GACA to train their operators approved programmes.
As well as the wider SEP training facilities for fire control and an incredibly realistic wave pool, with wind and rain conditions at the touch of a button, Dynamic offers both jungle and arctic survival rooms, oxygen hypoxia training, and smoke-filled cockpits. For the jet clients, there are full motion, cockpit and cabin training facilities, with emergency doors to replicate jets from different OEMs.
However, it is not just the incredible specialist equipment at Dynamic that garners such satisfaction, but the team’s holistic approach to training. Kammer said: “We select only the best trainers and run our training in a non-punitive environment. The motto of our team is ‘we entertain while we train’. Our training is hands-on with only minimal classroom theory and it is evident from the business jet aircrew feedback that this approach to training is what they have been craving. We also encourage business jet pilots and cabin crew to train together which is quite unheard of…”
We seek to establish a trailblazer in the luxury freeport business, especially as such facilities are well-established in Europe and Asia but not in the Middle East.
The current list of business jet specific training includes: Pilot Business Jet General Safety and Emergency Procedure Training; Cabin Crew Business Jet General Safety and Emergency Procedure Training; Pilot First Aid; Cabin Crew First Aid; and Crew Resource Management Training.
Kammer added: “We also provide a non-regulatory approved course, which is our hands-on VIP Service Training designed for cabin crew transitioning from commercial to corporate aviation. The training is customised to each private aviation client and takes place in realistic learning environments, ensuring that crew are prepared and confident for the real world. It covers all aspects from VIP service and food and beverage management, to food safety.”
Client support from Comlux
Already holding an office in the VIP Terminal, Comlux is now developing a hangar facility at MBRAH that spreads across 12,000 square metres of land. The facility will be equipped to simultaneously accommodate two ACJ and BBJ family aircraft types, including the future ACJ TwoTwenty. The company expects the hangar to be fully operational by mid-next year, allowing Comlux to provide its Middle East customers with EASA Part 145- and UAE Part 145-approved maintenance services and cabin upgrades, as well as refurbishment quality, works on their VIP aircraft.
Richard Gaona, Executive Chairman and CEO of Comlux, said: “We are pleased with this new milestone for the development of Comlux in the Middle East; MBRAH’s organisation at DWC airport is providing us with the ideal location for our expansion in the immediate future. Our goal is to provide our Middle East customers with convenient, high-quality and cost-efficient solutions for their VIP cabin changes and upgrades at DWC during their stay in Dubai or during maintenance grounding time.”
Largest standalone FBO
ExecuJet Aviation Group Middle East has broken ground on its newest project in the UAE – the largest standalone business aviation facility in Dubai South. The company has commenced construction on the 33,000sqm facility at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), which is due to open at the end of the year. The new flagship FBO will feature over 14,500sqm of on-site fully equipped, state-of-the-art, air-conditioned hangars, in addition to the luxurious FBO lounges and amenities.
The aviation mega-structure is designed as a three-story building with a basement level. It will feature a presidential suite, double-story crew lounge with viewing deck and games room, airside hotel room suite, transit lounge smoking area and bar.
Service and support
Behind the scenes, private jet owners and operators will have a wider range of MRO capabilities on their doorstep soon with new facilities for internal and external aircraft maintenance are coming to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) at Dubai South. In February, an agreement was signed with UUDS Aero, the French cabin interior specialist. UUDS will set up a facility at MBRAH to offer interior services from design certification to implementation, including the manufacturing and maintenance of cabin interiors on aircraft for both private and commercial airplanes, with full EASA and GCAA approvals. A second agreement was confirmed with Satys, the French group specialised in aircraft sealing and painting, to develop a paint hangar at the hub.
Tahnoon Saif, CEO of Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub, said: “This partnership underlines our position in attracting the top global players in the aviation sector to establish their presence in the emirate and operate in an integrated, economic environment, where they can connect with international markets. We will spare no effort to solidify and cement Dubai’s position on the world aviation map. The facilities are a first in the region, and will enable operators to save time, limit maintenance ferry flights and reduce their environmental footprint.”