Thursday, March 8, 2012

Abu Dhabi Air Expo

Abu Dhabi Air Expo otherwise known as the 1st Middle East General Aviation Exhibition was launched by Abu Dhabi Airport Company (ADAC) and held at Al Bateen Executive Airport on 6 to 8 March 2012.
This exhibition, as stated on the website, is "mainly intended for owners, pilots, enthusiasts and professionals in the general aviation field, who come from all over the Middle East,.."  Logically, this exhibition rounds up aviation expos in the UAE; Dubai Air Show an all encompassing international air show, MEBA the Middle East  Business Aviation show and finally this General Aviation Exhibition.

General Aviation in this region is slightly different to that in the USA, Europe or Australia; it is restricted here to flying schools, aero and sky diving clubs. There are not  the thousands of pilots/owners of small aircraft used for personal use; mostly due to the cost, regulations and regional security concerns.
Business and Corporate aviation is sometimes referred to as General Aviation. MEBA was not exactly very happy with this Air Expo and that explains their lack of presence and participation.

Did we need the Air Expo? does it really matter it has come and gone. ADAC has done a great job at organizing the exhibition, of course there were the usual teething problems associated with doing something for the first time.

But to answer the question above; YES we do need such an exhibition and it should not only be aimed at professionals but at the general public especially the younger generation. There is a massive global shortage of aviation professionals in the coming decade and unless we start rekindling the enthusiasm for aviation in an upcoming generation, the industry and especially in the region will suffer.

Kudos to ADAC for taking up the task and I actually look forward to the next one.

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