GENERAL AVIATION SUPPORT EGYPT
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Who are and what is G.A.S.E.?
Egypt: Land of the Pharaoh’s; cradle of civilization; over 5,000 years of history; the mighty Sahara desert and the dazzling Red Sea. These are just a few of the reasons why this enigmatic land attracts over 10 million tourists a year. Add to this the newer attractions of ‘Shopping Tourism’, ‘Therapeutic Tourism’ and ‘Sports Tourism’ and you may start to wonder why Egypt and especially Cairo seem to be a destination forgotten by the General Aviation pilot.
Maybe flying to another continent may be daunting for some flyers. Maybe the lack of knowledge of aviation in Egypt has some bearing on the lack of G A visitors. It could be that in the past some pilots have had a bad and or expensive experience when travelling here. These reasons and more may deter pilots of light aircraft from even considering Egypt as a destination. But we at G.A.S.E.hope to dispel some of these concerns and foster the idea in pilot’s heads that Egypt can be a destination to add to their list of ‘must go to’ places. After all, Egypt is as close to Southern Europe as France is to Ireland.
G.A.S.E. is a new concept in Egyptian aviation, it has been created by and is run by enthusiasts, all volunteers, many of whom who are aviation professionals. We are aiming to try and cultivate General Aviation in Egypt by collecting together people of the same mind, with a love of aviation, and offering our shared knowledge and expertise to the visiting pilot in the hope of encouraging more private aviators to come to Egypt.
We realised, back in April 2010; when a group of friends volunteered to be the ground support team for Norman Surplus (who is flying an Autogyro around the World); that something like G.A.S.E. was desperately needed in Egypt. A lack of empathy towards to the GA pilot hampered our efforts at every turn. It was a suggestion from Peter Kelsey from FerryAir that created the seed of an idea that we should create an organisation or society where we could offer assistance to other pilots considering flying to Egypt and following some early trials are now able to offer a range of services that would be of help to the GA pilot.
To explain who and what G.A.S.E. is can be simplified to one small statement…‘We are a group of enthusiasts who want to foster General Aviation in Egypt by offering assistance and services to visiting/transiting pilots of light aircraft’. This may be an over-simplification of what we are but it does lie at the core of our organisation.
G.A.S.E. came into being following the successful handling, hosting and support for Norman Surplus, the Autogyro circumnavigator, when he passed through Egypt on his amazing adventure. A few friends got together and were able to help Norman cope with the bureaucracy and special needs that flying in Egypt can throw at you. He was very grateful for the help received from us and praised us to fellow pilots. One of these pilots, Peter Kelsey from FerryAir then contacted us and suggested that we create a ‘company’ to offer similar services to other pilots heading this way.
This seemed like a great idea and two of us set about creating G.A.S.E., with the sole objective of being able to offer the best services and assistance that we could. The main difference between us and other agencies in Egypt is that we are volunteers and do this for the love of aviation and the hope that we can coax more pilots to come to this great country.
Although created and run by two people, G.A.S.E. is a much bigger organisation than that statement suggests. We have a considerable collection of contacts from the world of aviation throughout Egypt as well as many enthusiastic volunteers who all give their time and expertise free of charge. We also use a number of agents where necessary, who will offer their services at a much reduced rate.
Our army of contacts/experts/enthusiasts consists of commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, flight dispatchers, ground handlers, doctors, airline caterers, drivers, photographers, media people and most importantly…enthusiasts, all more than willing to help us help you, the GA pilot, make the most of your flying in Egypt.
Who are the G.A.S.E. main men?
Eddie is a British ex-pat living in spitting distance of Cairo International Airport. He has had a lifelong love of aviation and started working with aircraft after leaving school in 1970. His first job saw him maintaining a fleet of PA-28’s at Keenair Services/Liverpool Flying School. A number of other aviation related posts came along through the years and he also had time to fit in a bit of glider and microlight flying. Always a keen aviation photographer, this hobby would find him at airfields around Europe following his love of aircraft whenever he got the chance.
A member of the P.F.A. for many years would see him at fly-ins and rally’s chewing the fat with pilots and enthusiasts from around the world. Moving to precision engineering at the start of the millennium also saw health problems finally dictate a move to warmer climes. His love of aviation has never waned and is stronger than ever.
Ahmed Hassan Mohamed
Ahmed is Egyptian born and bred and also has a lifelong love of aviation. He is a graduate of the Egyptian Aviation Academy: Flight Dispatcher Course and also a graduate from Ain Shams University: Faculty of Arts, Tourist Guidance Department, English section. He is fluent in English and has acted as our translator on a number of occasions.
He has worked for a number of Middle Eastern airlines as a flight dispatcher and is currently employed full-time in that position. He also runs a number of online communities based around aviation hobbies. A powerhouse in the Egyptian aviation community, his love of aircraft is obvious to anyone who knows him.
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Well readers, that is G.A.S.E. in a nutshell, simplified to be be an introduction to the many stories and adventures we have experienced and hopefully there will be many more in the future.
G.A.S.E. is a story of intercontinental friendships that came about because of a joint lifelong love of all things aviation and grew into a dream that one day we will live to see the opening up of general aviation and aviation hobbies to everyone in Egypt.
I would also like to take this chance to thank JR for allowing me to have a dedicated page on his blog for G.A.S.E. – and I hope to be a regular provider of stories to entertain his many readers.
Please feel free to comment on any of my posts and ask questions freely. I will write about anything you would like to know about – GASE, Aviation, Egypt or even myself. So get those questions coming, and remember that I have already written some entries in other pages in this site.
He is fluent in English and has acted as our translator on a number of occasions.
Always a keen aviation photographer, this hobby would find him at airfields around Europe following his love of aircraft whenever he got the chance.
A member of the P.F.A. for many years would see him at fly-ins and rally’s chewing the fat with pilots and enthusiasts from around the world.
Moving to precision engineering at the start of the millennium also saw health problems finally dictate a move to warmer climes. His love of aviation has never waned and is songer than ever.