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January 26, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

New Sharjah FBO Opens

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Gama Aviation, the global business aviation and services company, announced recently that effective 23 January 2012, it will take responsibility for all business aircraft handling at Sharjah International Airport with the creation of a brand new FBO (Fixed Base Operation). The news ratifies a committed and ongoing relationship with Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation with the aim of encouraging and facilitating business aviation growth. Gama Aviation is providing a dedicated team 24/7, 365 days a year, to manage business aviation traffic, in a move that will see the company expand into FBO management for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Gama has been operating at Sharjah since 2004 and during that time has built up a strong business development relationship with the Sharjah International Airport management team. Sharjah, the oldest airport in the Emirates, can trace its heritage back to 1932, but the existing airport was built in the 1970s. Throughout all of this, Sharjah’s efficiency and ease of use has been prominent, which means that the average landing to chocks on time is an enviable average of just six minutes.

Its appeal is the availability of slots and its location – conveniently located just 20 minutes by road from downtown Dubai, or five minutes by helicopter. Gama Aviation has been instrumental in expanding the airport’s business aviation activity with a number of its UAE fleet based there and today, together with LCC and freight activity, the airport handles growing and substantial business aviation movements each year. Its ease of access makes it one of the most efficient and easy to use airports in the region.

Sharjah is closer to the business district of Dubai than the new World Central Airport (43 minutes by road) which is scheduled to become Dubai’s main business airport this year. As such, Sharjah International Airport is already being recognised as an excellent practical alternative by base customers and overseas business and private visitors to Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The FBO team is to be headed by Jeremy Mitchell, who joins Gama having been Manager, Operations for Sharjah Aviation Services and, prior to moving to Sharjah, as a senior manager with a number of handling agent companies in the UK.

Speaking about the introduction of Gama, His Excellency Abdulwahab Al Roomi, Director General, Department of Civil Aviation said: “We are pleased to have as reputed an organization as Gama operating at Sharjah International Airport. Their presence will bring in the expertise that we were seeking with regard to Executive Jet Handling. We are confident that through Gama the advantages and potential of Sharjah as a business Jet hub will be highlighted and utilised to the maximum, and we see this partnership reaping rich dividend to both organizations.”

These sentiments were echoed by Gama officials: “We are delighted to be providing our FBO services at Sharjah International. The opportunities for business aviation at the airport are superb and the infrastructure lends itself to a quick and efficient service – meaning that passengers don’t waste valuable time hanging around in departure lounges. The airport’s location is very convenient for Sharjah, the Northern Emirates and particularly for passengers travelling to Dubai. With the ability for clients to drive directly to their aircraft like most European and American business airports it is a very good option,” said Dave Edwards, Managing Director of Gama Aviation FZE. ”Sharjah has less capacity restraints and no slot restrictions, making it perfect for the specific demands of business aviation.”

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