UAS, a Dubai-based business aviation support group, has opened a regional headquarters in Johannesburg, led by Wynand Meyers, an industry veteran previously at Boeing’s Jeppesen, in order to “extend its global reach” and better reach operators across the African continent.

A significant part of the new UAS strategy is to train local staff to fully leverage local experience and knowledge alongside UAS’s global expertise and resources to provide a full range of international trip management solutions, including the VIP experiences that many of its clients expect.

These preparations for UAS staff will include the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s ground handling management course, which can contribute towards a full IATA Diploma in Ground Operations, as well as the existing opportunities available to for UAS trainees through the company’s scholarship programme at the Ethiopian Aviation Academy.

UAS has also arranged to work with the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), in order to identify how aviation can be used to support growth and development, and it hopes to portray its investment in training as an example to service and safety standards across Africa.

AfBAA executive director Rady Fahmy, commented: “We welcome the initiatives shown by UAS – we always encourage international aviation companies to consider the potential for Africa and are pleased to work closely with them to support their investment and growth.”

“We want to recognize UAS for scouting and developing local talent, investing in training programmes, and for tackling some of the challenges that operators face in Africa firsthand. These efforts are critical for raising the standards of African aviation to global levels.”

In Meyers’ previous role, he oversaw Jeppesen’s ground handling network in Africa for the Boeing flight-planning subsidiary, as well as handling additional functions in the Middle East and India. In his new role, he has been appointed as Director of Business Development for Africa.

The African headquarters is part of a broad programme of investment in Africa planned by UAS to include building facilities, opening further offices, implementing training programmes, developing fresh sales and marketing initiatives and engaging with corporate citizenship.

AfBAA was launched in May 2012 to represent the interests of the Africa’s aircraft owners, operators, and suppliers to the Business Aviation community with a single voice. Its primary objective is to promote the benefits of Business Aviation to prosperity by means of advocacy.