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Gama Aviation gets approval for $8m Sharjah hangar

Aircraft maintenance facility part of a $15m investment at Sharjah International

Gulf News

Dubai: Gama Aviation received on Monday approval to build an $8 million (Dh29.37 million) aircraft maintenance hangar at Sharjah International Airport, a spokesperson for the London-listed business jet operator told Gulf News.

The hangar is part of a $15 million total investment at Sharjah International that saw Gama Aviation open an executive terminal at the airport in July 2014. Gama Aviation planned to open the heavy aircraft maintenance hangar in late 2015 but that was delayed when the Sharjah government requested a new airport masterplan last year.

“We’ve had a verbal confirmation of the location of the hangar,” a Gama Aviation spokesperson told Gulf News by phone on Monday.

Gama Aviation is still waiting on official, written confirmation from the airport for the hangar site.

On Sunday, Chief Executive Marwan Khalek told Gulf News that construction would take 9 to 12 months to complete once it can confirm the location of the hangar, which is at least a year behind schedule because of the delay.

The company’s ability to grow revenue in its Sharjah operations, which manages between “seven and eight” aircraft, has been restricted by the approval delay.

An aircraft maintenance hangar “would invariably attract more customers for our handling business,” Khalek said.

The site for the maintenance hangar is located in a separate area of the airport to Gama Aviation’s existing operations, which includes the executive terminal and a storage hangar. The spokesperson said on Monday these operations will eventually be moved to the new site.

This year, Gama Aviation expects to add three to four aircraft into its Sharjah-based managed fleet, which Khalek said on Sunday, is a “fairly modest” growth target.

He says the market remains flat, largely due to the regional economic impact of the low oil price.

Local shareholders Sharjah conglomerate Crescent Enterprises and Dubai buyout firm Growthgate Capital injected $7.65 million into the London-listed Gama Aviation for the project.

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