Abu Dhabi Aviation has signed a joint venture agreement with local Mubadala Aerospace to establish an advanced flight training facility in Abu Dhabi.

The deal is worth about $60m, says Douglas Whiman, engineering director at Abu Dhabi Aviation.

“Mubadala Aerospace is at the forefront of creating a local and international aerospace industry in the UAE and surrounding region built on mutually beneficial partnerships,” says Homaid al-Shemmari, executive director of Mubadala Aerospace.

Following the economic downturn, Abu Dhabi Aviation took a global approach to its business, rather than being UAE-centric.

“As business withdrew, we expanded,” says Whiman.

The business now has aircraft in Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, India, Madagascar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

“We are at odds at the moment as we are in the process of fleet renewal, so we are turning into an MRO service provider. That’s where we’re heading,” Whiman says.

Abu Dhabi Aviation has a total fleet of 57 helicopters.