If, after record-setting attendance levels at the recent annual conventions of both the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), industry participants need further evidence of business aviation's viability and growth potential, we refer you to the plans of the Middle East Business Aviation Association. The organization, formed earlier this year by founding members Royal Jet, National Air Services, Bexair, Gulfstream, Jet Aviation and JetEx, told attendees at last month's NBAA annual meeting and convention it expects to record more than 300 members by 2012. Recently, the new non-profit organization added Boeing and Airbus as members and named Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Vice President of Finance and Administration for Abu Dhabi-based Amiri Flight, as its founding chairman. In that role, Al Naqbi will be responsible for carrying forward the association and meeting those goals.
The new organization was formed to "serve the needs of Middle East Business Aviation Association Members in ways that enhance safety, security, efficiency and acceptance of business aviation throughout the region." Among its objectives are ensuring safe flight operations and helping its members achieve the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness while focusing on their needs with versatility, creativity and integrity. Four membership classes currently exist -- founding member, operator member, supplier and affiliate member -- with annual dues ranging from U.S. $3,500 to $1,750. The association recently applied for membership in the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), which will decide whether to admit the MEBAA at its next regular meeting, scheduled for May 25, 2007, in conjunction with the next annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE).