Subscribe Free
in General Aviation

GCC commercial helicopter potential remains untapped says Bell

Posted 19 April 2016 · Add Comment

Helicopter travel within the GCC's commercial sector is still in its infancy yet could open up major horizons, particularly for the region's advancing tourism sector, according to Bell Helicopter.

David Sale, who heads the company’s regional sales for the Middle East and C.I.S., said though the region has a proliferation of helipads on major buildings, particularly in the five-star hotel and resort segment, helicopter travel is held back by a lack of dedicated infrastructure and operating systems.

“The sector in the region is still in its infancy yet the whole region needs it,” he said. Sale said the issue needs to be addressed by OEMs with infrastructure and regulatory operations required a combined approach by interior ministries, civil aviation regulators and operators, tourism regulators and planners and hotel owners and operators.

Saudi Arabia, he said, could particularly benefit from heliports to get people from major airports to other cities quickly and cost-effectively suggesting the infrastructure could be built into VVIP terminals. In the UAE, he said, the tourism sector would benefit. “The hotels needs to get involved as well because the large inherent investment needs to be spread throughout operators.”

Sale said one possible scenario which could drive the segment would be partial ownership. “It’s a matter of getting operators to do a business case together and move it forward together.”

“There would have to be some change in thinking because currently the processes are for major airport operations and not inter-domestic helicopter flights, and issue we have raised and are trying to address,” he said.

In 2014 the GCAA in the UAE issued a requirement for all helipads in the country to be approved for operations. It issues its first helipad licence in December 2014 to Dubai’s signature Burj Al Arab hotel.

Helicopter sightseeing tours are offered in Abu Dhabi by Falcon Aviation Services using a six-seater Eurocopter EC-130. In Dubai a number of operators offer tours in collaboration with destination management companies.

In 2014 Qatar Tourism Authority, with the support of the Qatar Armed Forces, launched a ‘Samana’ (Our Skies) helicopter tour product operated on its behalf by Gulf Helicopters using a Bell206L3 and promoted by Regency Travel.

 

 

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

UAE Space Agency and Algerian Space Agency strengthen ties

The UAE Space Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its Algerian counterpart the Algerian Space Agency.

Etihad Airways and Jet Airways sign agreement with Government of Maharashtra

Etihad Airways and strategic partner Jet Airways, India's full-service premium international carrier, have signed an agreement with the Government of Maharashtra to promote tourism to the western Indian state.

Flydubai named Best Low-Cost Airline serving the Middle East

Flydubai was named “Best Low-Cost Airline serving the Middle East” at the 2017 Business Traveller Middle East Awards held in Dubai on 23 April.

Gulf Air Appoints VFS Global to Provide Visas for Bahrain Visitors

Gulf Air has partnered with VFS Global, the largest visa service provider in the world, to facilitate visa issuance for passengers flying to Bahrain. The online visa facility will launch this summer on gulfair.com.

Emirates wins four awards at Business Traveller Middle East 2017

Emirates Airlines won four accolades at the ‎Business Traveller Middle East 2017 Awards this week.

Boeing reports first-quarter results

The Boeing Company reported higher first-quarter earnings and operating cash flow compared to the previous year, driven by solid execution on production programmes and services.

EBACE17 SK0103240517
See us at
Airport Show Dubai BT 2017AIME BT1204240118EBACE17 BT0103240517