MEBAA 2018: Falcon Aviation highlights a successful year

Falcon Aviation is talking up a raft of new developments it has put in place in the Middle East region at this week’s MEBAA 2018 in Dubai from 10-12 December.

Throughout 2018 it has continued to make progress towards fulfilling its core mission to expand infrastructure in the Middle East to support growing business aviation activity.

It is also gearing up to be a more active player in the regional aircraft market too. A shift in its business in the UAE will see its established Al Bateen Executive Airport, Abu Dhabi HQ evolving into a premier turboprop MRO base, supporting the Bombardier Q400, where it has full base maintenance capabilities.

“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 which is also getting busy,” said Falcom Aviation director of maintenance, Nicolas Tejera.

“We are highlighting our intentions here at MEBAA as we will be taking guests over (on an invitation/request to see basis) to our new MRO facility in DWC. It is nearly finished and due to be formally opened in Q1 2019.”

The first types to be supported for base maintenance will be the Embraer Legacy and Lineage family.

The decision to specialise in Business Jet Base Maintenance at DWC is very much in line with market demand, said Capt Raman Oberoi, COO of Falcon Aviation, noting the DWC base will 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 too it is showcasing a Leonardo AW169 Helicopter in VIP layout in the static.

It will also highlighting at MEBAA a partnership with Honeywell Aerospace, whereby Falcon Aviation becomes an authorised Channel Partner in the UAE. This marks the first dealership for a large second tier supplier, complementing its long-standing status with the airframe OEMs like Leonardo, Bell, Airbus Helicopters, Bombardier and Embraer and Pilatus.

With an 800m by 200m wide heliport at Kuwait Oil Company premises newly built, Falcon Aviation is getting ready 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, so Falcon Aviation has spent 2018 building up to service start.  Just prior to MEBAA Capt. Raman Oberoi was in Italy to discuss the project with Leonardo Customer support and also to discuss 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. The PC-24 will be its 12th aircraft type, and will be used for charter operations.  Introducing new variants presents challenges to Falcon Aviation, but on the other hand it is excited about this new arrival.

“It will fit efficiently in the 1,800 nm to 2,000 nm range sector – so it’s really a new space for us.  We will be gearing up with tooling and spares   to support its maintenance,” Captain Raman Oberoi said.

In September, Falcon Aviation entered into a partnership with the University of South Wales’ new Dubai University, set up to offer bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance. Falcon Aviation is contributing by offering on the job training in a Part 145 organization for these students during third year of their course.