The Persian Gulf’s first aircraft manufacturing plant will be set up in Abu Dhabi, in which the UAE Offset Group (UOG) and Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Co (Gamco) will hold the majority stake.
Gamco and UK-based Farnborough Aircraft Corporation (FACL) have signed an MoU to manufacture and market the Kestrel, a new business aircraft, in the Gulf and subsequently promote to other areas of the world.
The Gulf Aircraft Partnership (GAP), formed between Gamco and FACL, will capitalise on the availability of highly skilled engineers and Gamco’s state-of-the-art production and maintenance facilities to manufacture, market and maintain the Kestrel in the region.
GAP has been registered in the UK, and awaits registration pending the formation process.
Gamco was involved in building the aircraft’s prototype, which has been endorsed by the US authorities.
GAP is seeking US$100mn finance from UOG for the project.
The groups will then forge a joint venture among GAP, Gamco and UOG to develop the facilities and roll out the aircraft in phases.
The consortium claims that it can make the aircraft and hand over to customers in 18 months time.
The single-engine turboprop allows the aircraft to take off and land in narrow strips and unpaved roads.
Optimised to be the best combination of speed, comfort, operational flexibility and affordability, the Kestrel is said to be a robust single-engine turboprop aircraft providing flexible travel at speeds in excess of 950 kmh for journeys up to 1,500 nms.
The aircraft, the fastest single-engine turboprop, can fly up to three hours non-stop and cover a distance from Abu Dhabi to as far as Delhi and Cairo.
The airline has been designed in England. FACL will bring its technical knowhow to the UAE for manufacturing the aircraft.