Al Bateen free for private jets during GP

Private jets of those attending next month's Formula One Etihad Airways Grand Prix will have free use of Al Bateen airport.

July 2008-provided photo of Prestige Jet  airplanes
Courtesy Prestige Jet
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Abu Dhabi is wooing the rich and famous to attend next month's Formula One Etihad Airways Grand Prix with an offer for business jets to have free use of Al Bateen Executive Airport. Al Bateen, which is on Abu Dhabi Island and is the first dedicated private jet airport in the region, has begun an improvement programme to handle the anticipated rise in traffic for the GP, between November 11 and 14.

Yousif al Hammadi, the deputy general manager of the private jet airport, announced there would also be "free landing and parking to all visiting VIP aircraft using the executive terminal for the duration of the 2010 F1 event in Abu Dhabi". Al Bateen, which was mainly a military airbase until 2008 when authorities rebranded it as an airport for private flights, experienced a sharp increase in traffic in the first half of the year.

Take-offs and landings reached 3,973 in the first half, a 34.4 per cent rise compared with the same period last year. Private jet operators based at Al Bateen include Falcon Aviation, Al Jaber Aviation and Prestige Jet.