A decade after work began on a massive aviation services hub at the city’s new second airport, Dubai South is rapidly becoming the main business aviation gateway to the UAE, with three major infrastructure developments under way.

Formerly known as Dubai World Central, the airport has just completed its first dedicated VIP terminal, which includes separate fixed base operations for Falcon Aviation Services and JetEx. These are due to open in time for the Middle East Business Aviation Association show in Dubai in early December.

vip Terminal Falcon


Meanwhile, Falcon will start building work this year on a separate maintenance facility at Dubai South, adding to its existing hangar at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen airport. German company DC Aviation, which opened its own FBO and hangar in late 2013 in partnership with local investor Al Futtaim, has begun construction of a second, 7,500m2 hangar which will more than double its maintenance footprint at Dubai South.

Dubai Airports has been encouraging business aviation tenants at Dubai International to relocate to Dubai South as demand for slots from Emirates and other commercial carriers increases at what is now the world’s busiest international airport. Two long-term FBO operators at Dubai International, ExecuJet and Jet Aviation, already have a presence at the second airport.

However, Dubai South faces competition. Al Bateen markets itself as the region’s only dedicated, downtown business aviation airport, just minutes’ drive from the country’s main government offices, Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 track and several luxury hotels. Royal Jet, the world’s largest operator of Boeing Business Jets, has an FBO at Abu Dhabi International.

Meanwhile, UK company Gama Aviation presses the merits of the smaller Sharjah International Airport, where it is building an FBO and maintenance facility, as being closer than Dubai South to many key Dubai destinations, and a cheaper, slot-free alternative to nearby Dubai International.

We will be writing in-depth about the latest developments in the region’s business aviation sector in our special feature in late November, ahead of the MEBAA show.

Source: Flight International