Morocco's Office National Des Aéroports (ONDA) and Director General D'Aviation Civile (DGAC) are working jointly on plans to develop Ben Slimane Airport (GMMB/GMD) into the country's main dedicated business aviation hub. This will include a new FBO – while an invitation has also been issued for FBOs at six of the country's main airports.
Ben Slimane is ideally located between the country’s main economic centres of Casablanca and Rabat, and is very close to the fast-growing Mohammedia port city (the centre of the Moroccan oil industry). It has a single runway (14/32, 3,074m long) and has already started to establish itself as a convenient destination for private aviation, with Stars Aviation Services operating the existing VIP lounge.
Speaking at the MEBAA Morocco show in Casablanca yesterday, Zine Youssef, head of DGAC’s Ops Department, said that six fixed-wing operators had already signed up for the new facility – Anfajet, Alfa Air, Mt Fly, Dalia Air, AOM (Air Ocean Maroc) and ASA. In addition, Heliconia has signed up to be the first helicopter operator there.
The development will include a new dedicated FBO but the timing of the opening of the building, which will be an existing building that is to be converted, has not yet been revealed. Youssef says that the opening depends on commitments from operators.
With the other six airports targeted for business aviation development, ONDA has announced an invitation to tender for a contract to develop FBOs at Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, Tangier, Rabat-Salé and Fès. It says that this will “guarantee the development of this activity.”
ONDA says that it has already “developed some exclusive services dedicated to regular users of business flying” at both Casablanca Mohammed V airport and Marrakesh Ménara airport.
According to ONDA communications manager Layla Saigh the organization, which also handles Morocco’s air navigation services, has VIP lounges at the two main airports while it also business aviation-dedicated services at four other airports, but currently on a lesser scale. These airports are Agadir, Tangirs, Fez and Rabat.
At Casablanca and Marrakesh, ONDA says it offers “a business aviation package [which] includes personalized welcome and assistance services, the use of our lounges, the oversimplification of the administrative procedures as well as the flight pan preparation in the best conditions… intended for corporate or private passengers.” ONDA offers a dedicated “professional team” for “personalized support while “the crew is quite spoiled too.
ONDA list 17 airports in Morocco on its website (www.ONDA.ma) but not Ben Slimane, which is currently relatively small.
The airports under ONDA are:
Rabat Salé (GMME/RBA)
Runway 03/21 3,500m
Runway 10/28 3,200m
Al Hoceima (GMTA/AHU)
Runway 17/35 2,500m
Beni Mellal (GMMD/BEM)
Runway 05/23 2,500m
Casablanca Mohammed V (GMMN/CMN)
Runway 17/35 2,720m
Runway 03/21 3,000m
Runway 13/31 3,200m
Runway 16/34 2,607m
Fèz Sais (GMFF/FEZ)
Runway 19/27 3,200m
Runway 05/23 3,040m
Runway 02/20 2,700m
Runway 04/22 2,500m
Marrakesh Ménara (GMMX/RAK)
Runway 10/28 3,100m
Runway 08/26 3,000m
Runway 12/30 3,000m
Runway 06/24 3,000m
Tangiers Lbn Batouta (GMMT/TNG)
Runway 10/28 3,500m
Runway 06/24 2.300m
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