Abu Dhabi’s dedicated airport for executive jets enjoyed a 36 percent increase in traffic last year, on the back of infrastructure upgrades and new operators starting services to the fast-growing emirate.
Al Bateen Executive Airport, which is operated and managed by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), handled nearly 8,000 take-offs and landings in 2010.
The airport is based on the island of Abu Dhabi and was converted from a military airbase in 2008.
ADAC said the results demonstrated the success of the airport in attracting VIP and corporate clients into what it described as the only dedicated business aviation airport in the GCC.
Steve Jones, the general manager of Al Bateen Executive Airport, described 2010 as a “transformational year in the airport’s history”.
The increase in traffic was driven by the airport’s investment in new facilities, competitive pricing, and Abu Dhabi’s growing roster of international events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as new attractions including Ferrari World.
In 2008 ADAC said it would invest US$54m to develop an end-to-end business jet facility at Al Bateen including VIP and “VVIP” passenger terminals, airport services, maintenance, repair and overhaul, fuel and handling.
Royal Jet, voted “World’s Leading Private Jet Charter” by World Travel Awards, has been a firm supporter of developing Al Bateen into the Middle East’s first dedicated executive airport, and started using the facility last year.
The downtown location of Al Bateen complements Royal Jet’s existing facilities at Abu Dhabi airport and provides a compelling advantage for its strong client base of royalty, dignitaries, government officials, CEOs and celebrities.
ADAC has coupled the infrastructure expansion with aggressive marketing and last month, the airport announced the reduction of landing fees by 35 percent and parking fees by 17 percent.
This year will see further important projects including the completion of a high quality crew lounge facility, the development of new fixed base operations and the refurbishment of hangars and associated infrastructure.