Exhibition and conference debuts in Casablanca, Morocco, September 2015
Reflecting the growing importance of North Africa as a business aviation base, the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association is hosting its first dedicated event for North Africa, the MEBAA Morocco show, in September 2015.
Ali Al Naqbi, Founding Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), says: “Morocco represents an attractive investment market, with growing wealth, strong macroeconomic policies, and lower cost bases for business aviation players. We see enormous opportunities, and are keen to promote our aims of ensuring a well-supported, regulated and safe business aviation sector in North Africa.”
Set to be held at Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport, the two-day outdoor event will feature a static display area, and around 30 exhibitors plus 25 aircraft.
Designed to bring together current and prospective business aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers and customers, the MEBAA Morocco show is set to be opened by Abdelaziz Rabbah, Moroccan Minister of Equipment & Transport.
Al Naqbi believes the new event will help reinforce the importance of business aviation to local officials and prospective owners and operators, while also addressing transport issues faced by the region. “The MEBAA Morocco show recognises the burgeoning aviation industry in the country and recent investments by aircraft manufacturers, particularly those in business aviation,” he says.
For a decade, Western aircraft manufacturers have been taking advantage of Casablanca-Nouaceur Aeronautics Free Zone, the industrial zone close to Casablanca Airport, which offers desirable investment terms, close proximity to European and Middle Eastern markets, and access to a growing pool of skilled labour.
Leading global business aerospace player Bombardier is investing US$200 million in a Casablanca facility which will create 850 jobs by 2020. Boeing, Safran and United Technologies all have factories in Morocco, and the sector now employs more than 10,000 locals, thanks in part to the vocational training offered at the Moroccan Aerospace Institute, established in 2012, in a partnership between government and Moroccan industry group, Gimas.
Organised by F&E Aerospace on behalf of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), the new event will also host the MEBAA conference, a vital forum for raising industry issues, standards and driving the sector forward.
“MEBA has rapidly become one of the world's biggest business aviation events; this move into North Africa for the event is both logical and exciting, given the promising investment environment and favourable economic conditions Morocco offers to the sector,” said Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director, F&E Aerospace.