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Falcon plans to open Dubai MRO base

Falcon Aviation Services is poised to open its first maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility dedicated to fixed-wing business aircraft outside its Abu Dhabi headquarters.

The 37,000sqm (398,000sq ft) site, located at Al Maktoum International airport in the Dubai South area, will open early in 2019 and will be more than twice the size of its current facility at Al Bateen executive airport.

"The hangar space is large enough to accommodate five narrowbody VIP airliners or up to 16 midsize business jets," says Falcon’s director of maintenance Nicolas Tejera. It will also complement Falcon's fixed-base operation and managed heliport at Dubai South.

Al Bateen currently provides MRO services for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in two dedicated hangars. "With business aircraft support now moving to Al Maktoum, we will devote that hangar space to maintaining regional turboprops," says Tejera, describing this sector as "increasingly busy".

Falcon owns and operates 36 aircraft: seven business jets, 23 helicopters and six Bombardier Q400s, three of which are used to provide crew transfers for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, while the remainder are leased to Kazakh carrier Qazaq Air.

Tejera says Falcon has identified a fleet of some 80 Q400s in the Middle East, North Africa and India that it could support, but it will also widen its portfolio to include other turboprop airliners.

In addition, Falcon on 18 December will begin a five-year onshore and offshore oil and gas support contract with Kuwait Oil Company.

Since winning the tender in October 2017, Falcon has built a dedicated workforce of 38 – including 15 pilots and eight engineers – at the new Kuwait City base, which also houses a purpose-built heliport and a new hangar for the Leonardo Helicopters AW169 rotorcraft that will be used on the contract. "We will expand this fleet in the future," says Tejera.

Meanwhile, Falcon also announced at MEBAA that it has been selected by Honeywell as an authorised dealer in the Middle East. "The contract will enable us to sell, install and maintain the company's avionics systems and platforms," says Tejera.

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