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Former Al Bateen Airbase to be Renamed City Airport, Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi’s dedicated private jet airport, formerly the Al Bateen airbase, is to be renamed City Airport, Abu Dhabi as part of its overhaul.

City Airport’s distinctive new identity is in keeping with Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s (ADAC) other airports and connects it to the brand of Abu Dhabi. The shift in name from Al Bateen is designed to communicate the airport’s convenient location, just ten kilometers from the heart of the city of Abu Dhabi, and its proximity to upcoming areas of the city.

The airport is a boutique exclusive business jet facility perfectly situated to accommodate the MENA region’s growing business jet industry and worldwide operators. It is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, with just a ten minute drive from the Corniche, making it very attractive for businessmen and high net worth individuals. The airport is situated five kilometers southwest of the Abu Dhabi business district.

The private jet market in the Middle East is expanding rapidly, and ADAC is responding to demand by ensuring that its exclusive City Airport, Abu Dhabi accommodates the specific needs of this growing market. The airport is estimated to be an AED 5 billion asset to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

ADAC is investing more than AED 200 million in additional facilities at the airport, which is set to be developed as an exclusive corporate jet facility offering 7-star services to all clients. Stand capacity is set to grow from 50 to over 120 spaces, with specific areas in hangers for the maintenance of different sized aircraft. A new best-in-class Instrument Landing System (ILS) will be upgraded and the latest Global Positioning System (GPS) technology will be installed. Options for an onsite hotel are also being considered.

The airport will also include a ‘one-stop shop’ business jet facility, VIP and main passenger terminals, 24 hour access, airport services, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), fuel, handling and all other fixed-base operational services.

H. E. Khalifa bin Mazrouei, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, said, “Our plans for City Airport, Abu Dhabi will put it firmly at the centre of the incredible growth of business aviation services in the region. It is the first airport in the Middle East to be dedicated solely to business jets, part of the Abu Dhabi government’s strategy to develop the Emirate’s economy over the coming years and to take advantage of upcoming industry developments.”

The demand for such an airport is very clear. The number of charter flights departing out of Abu Dhabi airport has increased 46% year-on-year since 2004, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has recently received applications from more than two dozen new firms for licences to fly out of the UAE.

Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President of Airline Marketing and Aeronautical Revenue at ADAC, said, “The company has been closely monitoring the private jet business industry and we have made sure that we do not wait and react to the demands of this particular segment in aviation, rather we have made sure that we will not only ensure sustainability but also growth in this sector”. 

“Individuals who fly private jets are decision makers who value their time and therefore the convenience offered by using private jets. At ADAC, we have now made sure those clients with their own jets, will now also have their own airport,” he added..

 Recent studies have estimated that there are currently 388 corporate jets based in the Middle East, with the major markets being Saudi Arabia (143 aircraft in 2007) and the UAE (43 aircraft). By 2014, it is forecast there will be 900 corporate jets based in the region, part of a global growth trend that will see 13,200 business aircraft in the light to corporate airliner sectors delivered over the next 10 years. That will take the worldwide business jet fleet up from 12,800 in 2007, to 24,800, almost doubling the market.

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