Dr Khaled Almazroui, the General Manager of the Fujairah International Airport (FIA), said to delegates at the Air Center Conference 2011 (13-14 April) that it is the goal of the FIA to become the first
After tracing the evolution of the
Dr Khaled used the following chart to compare ‘Airport Cities’ like Dubai with an emerging ‘Air Center’ like Fujairah:
The General Manager mentioned some of the strategic considerations that were in Fujairah’s favour of becoming the first
1. Population Growth:
2. Proximity: The new Dubai-Fujairah highway that opens in September 2011 will mean that 4 million people will be within a 45 minute drive of
3. Expansion of the seaport and the establishment of the
4. The growth of the tourism industry in the emirate of
5. The growth of commerce and industry.
6. Fujairah’s location on the Indian Ocean and its proximity to the growing markets of Asia and
7. The increasing identification of new business niches.
Martin Fraissignes, the President of Chateauroux Airport, was present at the
He spoke upon how his airport had felt under the shadow of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in
Mr. Fraissignes named some important trends that offer favourable conditions for an airport like Fujairah that is seeking to become an
1. Global air travel will double in the next 15 years.
3. The global and regional growth creates new opportunities to focus on cargo handling, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
4. There will be a greater need for smaller airports to develop a range of diversified activities such as a cargo center, a training center, an aeronautical center and offering airlines customized services.
Martin Fraissignes said an airport like
Also speaking at the Fujairah conference was Luis Guilherme, General Manager of Marketing for the
Mr. Guilherme, likewise, spoke of the way his airport discovered its niche despite being located 140 kms near the massive airport in
He said his airport has been able to achieve fast cargo clearance rates and has assumed a role as a hub of air cargo for other Brazilian airports which has enabled his air center to be competitive in terms of time and money.
Why an Air Center in the
Charles Hajdu, Strategy and Business Development Manager for the
1. There has been consistent growth of 8% in Middle Eastern aviation in the past decade.
2. The Middle East has combined aircraft orders of US$ 300 bill.
3. The Middle East is home to more than 700 airlines and aircraft operators.
4. More than US$120 bill. is being spent on new airports and infrastructure developments.
5. Business and executive aviation is growing at 7% per year.
6. 14% of aircraft orders with Boeing and Airbus come from Middle Eastern carriers.
7. The Middle East is a major sea/air trans-shipment point connecting Asia, Africa and
8. It is estimated there will be 3000 aircraft in service in the
1. Cost savings
2. Local services
3. Focused Support
4. Customized requirements and tailored solutions
5. Time savings (in the light of the new highway) and convenience.
Charles Hajdu said:
“In the case of Fujairah, with all the power of
For Fujairah to become the primary Air Center of the Middle East it will require being intentional about giving support services in the following key areas:
1. Dedicated freighter operations.
2. Training in flight, engineering, cabin crew, rescue fire fighting, airport operations etc.
3. Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
4. Being an alternative low cost, unconstrained airport that is required for business aviation, flight training, cargo operations and low cost carriers.
Exciting Plans Developing at the
Middle East Aviation Boom Sets Context for
This article is also posted in the
Top image: The new maintenance workshops being developed at the
N.B. In the comparison chart 'PAX' is the aviation abbreviation for passengers.