New business aircraft to debut at MEBA - ‘Kestrel’ to be first plane manufactured in GCC
The Kestrel, a new business aircraft prototype made by the UK’s Farnborough Aircraft Corporation Limited (FACL), will make its first ever industry appearance at the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) event in Dubai on January 31st and February 1st.
FACL intends the aircraft to be manufactured at Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company’s (GAMCO) new state-of-the-art facilities in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and marketed regionally by The Gulf Aircraft Partnership – a joint venture between GAMCO and FACL.
Some of the carbon composite and metal parts for the aircraft were made in Abu Dhabi by GAMCO and are incorporated in the prototype.
“The Kestrel has been designed to bridge the gap between turboprops and substantially more expensive business jets, redefining its class and challenging the new generation of very light jets to match the Kestrel’s all round capabilities,” said Richard Blain, Commercial Director – FACL.
“With direct operating costs falling well under $1 per statute mile, the Kestrel is a valuable and cost effective proposition to charter operators, corporations and governments seeking to increase productivity and flexibility.”
MEBA, organised by Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E) on behalf of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), will feature a static display with an impressive line-up of 31 aircraft. The event has received strong international support and features 90 exhibitors from 20 countries.
“Aircraft manufacturing in the Middle East is a giant step forward for the regional aviation industry and demonstrates that the region’s business aviation sector is in for rapid growth,” said Alison Weller, Aerospace Director, F&E.
Meanwhile, the MEBA conference programme is due to explore some of the hottest topics facing the industry regionally, including the emergence of very light jets which herald a new era in aircraft and engine technology, pilot provisions and civil aviation criteria for business aircraft training in the GCC and Middle East.
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