The Middle East's first business aviation-only airport has launched its own fixed-base operation brand as it prepares to announce further FBO developments at the show.

Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen Executive airport is calling the service DhabiJet. It will incorporate the airport's existing VIP terminal with a new handling operation and be run by FBO manager Pauline Smith, formerly with ExecuJet in Dubai.

The city centre airport is planning a burst of infrastructure developments as it transforms itself from a former air base. Aside from the confirmation of a third-party FBO and maintenance facility - thought to be Jet Aviation - owner Abu Dhabi Airports' long-term plans for the airport include further hangars and a crew hotel and managed offices.

"We have around 40 projects that we are considering," said general manager Steve Jones. "The military is progressively releasing space for us to turn into hangars. By November we will also have an executive catering operation on site."

Other possibilities include hosting the 2012 Middle East Business Aviation convention, until now held in Dubai. "We are waiting for a decision on that from the organisers, but we are ready and willing," said Jones.

Al Bateen has announced a 25% increase in commercial aircraft movements in April compared with the same month in 2010. It follows an 18% rise in the first quarter. Jones said users were switching from other airports in the region.

"People are becoming aware of the advantages of Abu Dhabi," he said. "The decision to revise our aeronautical charges last year and the introduction of a new instrument landing system has boosted traffic immeasurably."

Source: Flight Daily News