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Beirut To Become Center Of Aviation In Middle East  
User currently offlineMEA321 From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 389 posts, RR: 16
Posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

Beirut International Airport is currently in the drawing stages of a project that could change the entire look of the airport as we know it today...

The current plan is to create one of the biggest airplane maintenance facilities in the WORLD! This article claims that Lebanon will have the ability to manufacture flight control systems and flaps for large aircraft. The current plan is to privatized Beirut airport and take advantage of the 12 hangars they have. This will create 1500 job opportunities and will bring the number of jetways at BEY to 30. They talk about a very ambitious plan to develop the airport and the infrastructure of Lebanese aviation, as well as projects in other parts of the country.

Some of the highlights of this article and prospective plan are as follows:

1 - Develop laws and systems to include aviation systems management, air safety, and airport security systems.

2 - Privatization of Beirut airport.

3 - Creation of a General Aviation Establishment. Form administrative systems and determine qualifications and requirements in cooperation with ICAO.

4 - Develop human factors and related elements.

5 - Develop and improve technical aspects of Beirut airport including communications, radar facilities, and navigation systems.

6- Rehabilitate the airport of Rene Mouawad (Named after a former Lebanese president). This airport is also known as Tripoli Kleyate Airport.

7 - Rehabilitate the center for Aviation and Air Safety.

8 - Rehabilitate ground services to improve airport performance. Improve transportation, banks, and car rentals agencies.

9 - Improvement of other sectors of the airport. Improvement of administrative aspects and the aircraft maintenance facilities.

This project is only in the early stages of development and has not passed government approval yet. If this plan is to go through it will reinforce the strong revival that Lebanon has experienced since the end of the civil war in the early 90s. This plan is expected to cost over 450 million dollars, however costs of restructuring of this scale could easily top that figure.

Here are some current pictures of Beirut International Airport courtesy of our fellow member BA.





Here is the Al-Mustaqbal article. It is in Arabic.
http://www.almustaqbal.com/stories.aspx?CategoryID=4&IssueID=512

[Edited 2004-08-22 03:20:20]

[Edited 2004-08-22 03:27:56]


MEA321
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4587 times:

The maintenance base idea is indeed great.

Hamdi Chaouk was talking about the capabilities of the company GAMCO in Abu Dhabi, but that the labor their is more than in Lebanon which is why Lebanon has an advantage.

Airbus and Bombardier have expressed strong interest in this maintenance base project. The government is hoping to seek some more investers and once they do, they will embark on this costly project.

Hopefully within 5 years, Beirut will become a maintenance hub for Airbus and Bombardier and sometime later, they will open up manufacturing plants to begin making these spare parts themselves.

About the airport jetways, that's another project. Within 20 years, they are hoping to handle 10 million passengers per year.

Right now Beirut Airport has 23 gates, 21 of which have jetways. The number of gates will be increased by 7 to bring the airport up to 30 gates.

Here is a map of the current terminal:


It's a great project and if it is successful, it will really help Lebanon.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4506 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

NICE!

thanks for the info chadi!



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4485 times:

This is really nice if all goes well.

It's a good sign that Airbus and Bombardier have already shown interest yet it's only at the very early stages of the project.

Hopefully other aircraft manufacturers will follow. I wonder if Boeing will follow suit...

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4473 times:

Won't Beirut find it hard to compete with DXB, already a large operation, and the other large airports in the Gulf region which are planning large expansions?

User currently offlineMEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

Thanks for the input MEA321

Beirut Int'l is far from being completed,as there are large spaces underused and that could be transformed into some very helpful facilities to boost the position of the airport in the region.The newly,almost complete private jets terminal is a fine example.
The airport is showing progress every month,especially in summer time with all the tourists flow to the country.

Leelaw

I've never been to DXB,but I've learned from this forum that it's an important airport,and it ranks first ahead of Beirut.However,BEY is showing progress and proves to have potentials,therefore we should not give up and underestimate the capabilities of the airport,eventhough the competition it's facing with DXB,is similar to that of MEA & Emirates,DXB is strongly supported(by that I mean the pumping of dollars) by the government,while BEY depends on its day to day operations to improve. BEY will surely face a tough competition from the region's airports,it's all about keeping the hopes up.

MEA310



M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5677 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4368 times:

Why would spare parts manufacturing have to be tied in any way to airport development/maintenance operations?

I always thought that mainteneance is done by either specialized manitenance companies or airline's divisions dealing with that type of business, not airport authority. Isn't there a great deal of specialization going on in a/c maintenance business? Especially if we're talking about heavy maintenance, i.e. you can't possibly do Boeing if you're doing Airbus already. Correct me if I'm wrong?


User currently offlineTs-ior From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3450 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4296 times:

... also a new airport is being built in Tunisia and is intended to open by 2007 with a capacity of 7 million passengers per year. The airport is aimed to handle 30 million passengers by 2020 and the Tunisian authorities want it to be a North-African / Mediterranean hub.

It seems that Arab aviation is flowershing and competence is to become "rough" between the Middle-East and North-Africa.


User currently offline7E7 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4268 times:

Nothing short of great news
!!!!!


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4261 times:

Leelaw,

I think people underestimate the Beirut airport facility (they think it is some cheap little small old run down airport). It is a very good facility, not as big as DXB. Then again, DXB is run by a government that is very rich that is able to fund all these massive expansions and pour tons of money into Emirates to keep expanding.

Beirut in the future hopefully will become a descent hub, not as big as DXB, but a good alternative.

I think the Lebanese government is smart in trying to pursue this "mega-maintenance hub." For one, it will be the investers who will be paying for it, so it really won't cost the government much.

Labor in Dubai and the rest of the gulf is higher than in Lebanon as the article mentions which is what Lebanon is using to lure investers.

Airbus and Bombardier have already expressed very strong interest which is a fantastic sign. Let's hope this progresses.

If all goes well, Beirut will become the maintenance hub of the Middle East. Their are also plans to open pilot training facilities with flight simulators to train pilots.

Private charter flights have increased dramatically in Beirut. Their are so many business jets that come into Beirut. Infact their isn't enough room for them so they end up parking in the gates! That is why soon they will open a nice new VIP terminal for this kind of traffic and soon begin construction on 12 more hangers to handle these aircraft. It is hoped also that Beirut will become a major hub for private charter aircraft companies to have bases.


Here it is as of a few months ago:




So the main objectives are to become a major aircraft maintenance hub and and a major private aircraft/charter base as well.

L410Turbolet,

Why would spare parts manufacturing have to be tied in any way to airport development/maintenance operations?

It's not exactly tied. You're right. The initial stages are for aircraft manufactuers to just open a maintenance base in Beirut. They will initially import all the spare parts. At a later stage, it is hoped that they will open manufacturing facilities to manufactuer these spare parts locally which will help reduce costs in the long run and further enhance the capability of the maintenance operations.

Simply put, the government is going to do the marketting, and the foreign companies will have to come and show interest and invest in these projects. They will probably be given incentives as well.

I always thought that mainteneance is done by either specialized manitenance companies or airline's divisions dealing with that type of business, not airport authority.

Exactly. It's not done by the airport authority. However the airport authority is trying to attract the maintenance companies to come to Beirut. The foreign companies will have to invest in the project and once they have enough investers, they can begin working on this $450 million project.

They are giving the foreign companies reasons why they should come to Beirut and are offering them incentives to do so.

The article mentions Airbus and Bombardier have already expressed very strong interest which is a good sign.

Isn't there a great deal of specialization going on in a/c maintenance business?

Yes, which is exactly why this is a pretty big project.

Especially if we're talking about heavy maintenance, i.e. you can't possibly do Boeing if you're doing Airbus already. Correct me if I'm wrong?

All I know is that the goal is to get as many companies as possible. Both aircraft manufactuers, and specific aircraft maintenance companies.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineMEA321 From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 389 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4256 times:

Personnally I have never been up to Tripoli Kleyate Airport.

For anyone that has, what kind of future prospects would the rehabilitation and revival of this airport bring to Lebanon?

Would the size of this airport be able to accomodate commercial operations and cargo aircraft? What about the local transportation network (road, rail, and sea), is this airport located in a strategic position to attract companies?

With the revival of Kleyate Airport, could we see the first ever domestic route within Lebanon?



MEA321
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4205 times:

I should also mention that the government has embarked on major reforms in the civil aviation department.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which looks over civil aviation in Lebanon, regulates it, sets safety standards, issues air operating certificates (AOC), etc. will be dissolved and replaced by the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) which will work under the Ministry of Public Works & Transportation.

The DGCA is made up of 12 different departments and over 400 employees.

The newly created LCAA will be made more efficient and as a result will have fewer employees. The employees that are to be layed off will be given early retirement packages and offered assistance in finding new jobs both in the government and out. Also, the LCAA will consist of only 3 departments, the Department of Air Transport, Department of Aviation Safety, and the Department of Administration.

The Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) will then set up the Beirut International Airport Corporation (BIAC) which will overlook the Beirut International Airport operations. It will be a private corporation in which investers will buy shares in. A similar corporation will be set up for Rene Mouawad Airport in Kleyate just north of Tripoli. This airport is currently closed and the government will need to invest a lot in it to bring it up to modern standards, then it will be opened as Lebanon's 2nd airport.

Since 1998, the operations of the airport was handed over to a newly created private company called Middle East Airports Services (MEAS) which was a subsidiary created by MEA in 1998.


They do everything from cleaning the bathrooms to operating the jetways to de-rubberizing the runways.

Here is their website:
http://www.measairports.com

MEAS is looking at offering its services in other airports in the Middle East as well. They will operate Rene Mouawad Airport once it opens.

The government is focusing on turning Rene Mouawad Airport into a major cargo hub like Ostend in Belgium and Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Recently, it was also brought up that Rene Mouawad Airport should become an important airport for charter operations.

But it's been stated many times that Rene Mouawad Airport is very outdated by todays standards and needs a lot of updating before it can attract any interest. It only has one runway that is 9843 feet long. It does not have any type of Instrument Landing System (ILS). The passenger terminal is also very small.

So it needs a lot of work and this will need to be invested by the government, not really foreign investers.

So it will be a while before Rene Mouawad airport opens.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

MEA321,

I have never been to Kleyate Airport.

All I know is it has a concrete 9843 foot long runway that in the past has handled MEA B747-200s towards the end of the civil war.

The terminal is supposidly very very small and outdated.

All I know is it needs a lot of work to be brought up to modern standards and that it is going to cost a lot of money. Something that the government is going to have to pay.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

So is Larnaca on Cyprus a strong competitor to Beirut or is the EU membership causing problems?

User currently offlineMEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3977 times:

Alessandro

I don't see LCA as a strong competitor to BEY.I'm not sure if LCA has some important maintenance facilities because I've read numerous times that CY does some checks at BEY.The #1 competitor to BEY is DXB,simply it's an Intra-Arab competition.The services offered by Dubai & Beirut are different than that of Larnaca,speaking in terms of flights and passengers destinations.

MEA310



M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3931 times:

So is Larnaca on Cyprus a strong competitor to Beirut or is the EU membership causing problems?

LCA is a strong competitor in terms of offering options for passengers. Cyprus Airways has extremely cheap fares to Europe from Beirut with a connection to LCA. Infact MEA's CEO Mohammad El-Hout said they are feeling the dent because of them.

However, in terms of maintenance. They have extremely simple maintenance facilities that can only do line maintenance.

Cyprus Airways has a contract with MEA's MidEast Aircraft Services Co. (MASCO) in Beirut to do C Check maintainance for their A319s and A320s.

MASCO will soon begin to maintain Cyprus Airways' A330 fleet, so this will be a nice treat to see in Beirut.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
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