An Interview with H.E. Chairman of ADA on the occasion of its participation in IDEX 2017
H.E. Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi
Abu Dhabi Aviation, the largest helicopter operator in the GCC and MENA regions is participating in the International Defense Exhibition and Conference 2017 (IDEX 2017).
“Aviation industry in the UAE is one of the strategic components promoting economic growth. The wise insight of our leadership has provided the proper platform, systems and investments to build a significant international hub of aviation and logistic services” Mr. Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi, ADA Chairman said.
“The Strategic vision of ADA is to be one of the major helicopter aviation companies in the world providing competitive logistic services to the military and civil sectors inside and outside the U.A.E.” he added.
In an interview conducted by Emirates News Agency, the local press and the National Shield magazine at his ADA office, on the outset of IDEX 2017.
Abu Dhabi Aviation is taking part in IDEX 2017. How do you view the significance of your participation and the International interest the exhibition is gaining worldwide?
IDEX is one of the most significant international events and is the largest exhibition of its kind. Since its launch in 1993, it has been able to establish its position as a meeting place of major decision makers and as a part of the UAE’s strategy to boost the economic development and diversify the sources of income. With a large number of participants exceeding 1,232 exhibitors, ADA’s participation in IDEX presents an opportunity to keep abreast of the latest technological breakthroughs and trends in the aviation sector. This is in line with ADA’s strategy of gaining exposure and experience. The event will allow ADA to participate alongside other regional and international companies, and to establish new partnerships that may introduce our expertise, skills and experiences to the world at large, especially that the aviation industry plays a vital role in the development of the military, civil, medical and recreation sectors in the region. This will further pave the way for ongoing development of the helicopter industry and shall enhance its role in the economic system and increase its contribution in the GDP. Also, we shall not forget that ADA is a national company that would never fail to attend and actively participate in such an important event.
What are the services you are promoting in IDEX 2017?
We are looking forward to draw attention to the services provided by ADA to the army and the police, starting from search and rescue and maintenance services to the provision of helicopter spare parts, along with training and transportation services.
ADA is more than 40 years old now, it has the first helicopter fleet in the MENA region and Europe. ADA is proud with the size of its accomplishments, whether in helicopter services, fixed-wing aircraft services, maintenance, supply of spare parts, search and rescue, transportation, air ambulance or medical evacuation operations. We have fully medically equipped helicopters providing a mini operation room which is the first of its kind in the Middle East. ADA has also taken a huge step to expand its services, where it established the largest specialized helicopter simulator training center in the MENA region. One of ADA advantages is its compliance with international safety and security standards, as this has become a significant challenge which distinguishes countries worldwide. Such compliance was promoted with ADA reaching 1 million hours of safe operation. We boast the huge fleet owned by ADA which qualified the company to be the largest helicopter operator in the MENA region.
How many aircrafts and what aircraft models does ADA’s fleet comprise? Is there any intention to expand your fleet?
Abu Dhabi Aviation owns 61 aircrafts, 57 of which are helicopters including 412 Epi Bell, EP 412 Bell and AW139 VVIP and four of the world’s latest fixed-wing aircrafts Dash8/Q400, two Q200/ Dash8, and one Dash 8/Q300.
Owning such an advanced fleet of aircrafts that features high speed along with an advanced safety system has boosted the Company’s operations and allowed it to provide high quality customer service. As to expanding our fleet, it remains dependent on the customers’ needs and requirements.
However, ADA has cooperation agreements with aircraft manufacturers such as Agusta Westland and Bell Aircraft Corporation to buy 25 air crafts if prompted by the customers’ needs.
ADA has recently raised the number of its aircrafts to cover its contracts inside and outside the UAE, as an investment in the aviation sector.
How do you see the future prospects of your expansion strategy? What is the size of ADA investments?
The helicopter aviation sector in the UAE has seen multiple quantum leaps to become today one of the fastest growing worldwide.
ADA was established with a capital of AED 445 million. With its continuous success and expansion, its investments have reached more than AED 1 billion and 700 K in 2016.
As ADA is a national joint stock company, it takes into consideration the steady surge of its stocks and the satisfaction of its shareholders. Accordingly, we have sensed the need for diversified sources of income hence we established an aircraft simulator training center. The simulator has the ability to train full flight crews (the pilot, the co-pilot and the rest of the crew) for all aviation related entities. It is the largest and most significant simulator training center in the region. The training center will be ready by the first half of 2017 for Agusta Westland AW139, and Bell412 aircrafts. These helicopters are the most frequently used in the UAE, the GCC and Middle East regions. Pilots will be able to receive training in ADA, while such training was only available in Europe, the US or Malaysia. This will save the relevant trainees the effort of traveling and the cost of training. The center will be able to train more than 300 pilots every month with an average of 6000 hours of operation, all on one simulator. Once operative, the training center will boost the training standards to unprecedented levels and shall promote the confidence and peace of mind for the customers.
As another source of income, we have established Agusta Westland Aviation Services to provide aircraft maintenance, spare parts and accessories as a cooperation between ADA and Agusta , the specialized aircraft manufacture.
Furthermore, we have recently established ADA Millennium to provide feasibility studies, aviation and hospitality consultancy.
In addition, ADA owns 50% of Royal Jet, the luxury flight services company and holds 100% of the shares of Maximus Shipping Company.
What are your plans for sustainable growth?
Our plans stem from the UAE’s goal to meet the highest safety and security standards, and to continue supporting creativity which is a founding and inherent value of the air transport and services, and a core pillar of the industry’s development worldwide. We are also keen on keeping abreast of the latest technologies and expanding to new areas such as Africa. We will continue our efforts to achieve excellence, to be an international role model, to focus on high quality and excellent customer services, invest in human resources, develop leaders and adopt a culture of excellence through strategic thinking.
A last word?
The services provided by local aviation companies have been a pillar of our national economy.
ADA’s services; especially in the fields of operation, maintenance and training; are amongst the best in the Middle East and the world. One of the company’s most significant strategies is to take a proactive approach to overcome obstructions and identify problems and errors in order to improve its performance.
Anyone who follows up with the journey of ADA and the area of its coverage, would know that our target is for ADA to become one of the major international companies. ADA has proven that it has a great potential for further growth, especially as many of its services are provided abroad.
The company’s ability to upgrade its fleet and satisfy the local, GCC, regional and international markets, has allowed it to establish its name in the aviation industry. The expertise and experience along with a highly-qualified staff of pilots, engineers and administrators, have added much to our track record in aviation, maintenance and training.
This philosophy of diligence and ambition is just a part of many other incentives implanted in us by our wise leadership, which has enabled us to overcome challenges and trust the abilities of our fellow citizens in various fields; relying on scientific methodologies and international experience in our industry. Thus, we make sure to keep abreast of the increasing developments and breakthroughs in the aviation industry and its supporting services.