The first Abu Dhabi Air Expo was officially opened yesterday at Al Bateen Executive Airport by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac), the three-day event is expected to draw more than 3,000 visitors, plus major aviation players from across the GCC, North Africa, Asia and South Africa.
"Adac is very pleased to host the first general aviation trade show for Abu Dhabi. The company would like to thank all our partners from Abu Dhabi Police, UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Etihad Airways for all their support for the event. Adac looks forward to welcome visitors to the show," said Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi, the chairman of the organising committee for the expo and the deputy general manager of the Al Bateen airport.
The expo is the only general aviation exhibition in the Middle East, and has been mainly directed at aircraft owners, pilots, enthusiasts and professionals in the general aviation field.
However, for the public there will be performances by the UAE Air Force's Al Fursan aerobatic team, the Emirates skydiving team, and a display area with more than 70 aircraft and nearly 100 exhibitors, including Etihad Airways, Royal Jet, Mubadala Aerospace, the UAE Armed Forces and Rotana Jet.
As part of the show's programme, a number of industry-related conferences have been scheduled around topics including general aviation, flight training and safety, helicopters, aviation fuels and engines, youth involvement, aircraft asset management, financing and insurance.
The conferences will be held at the Gulf Centre of Aviation Studies, which is located near the exhibition venue at the Al Bateen airport.
The expo is also intended to showcase the new airport. Adac has already invested Dh183.6 million (US$49.9m) in turning the 50-year-old military airfield at Al Bateen into a luxury business aviation gateway with a VIP passenger terminal.
Further plans are in place to develop new commercial facilities, hangars, apron enhancements, utilities and runway work.