A respected UAE flight school has unveiled three new helicopter hangars to support its expanding business.

Rubb Buildings won an order to provide three 23.4m x 36m steel and aluminium hybrid EFASS structures to Horizon Flight Academy.

Hareb Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, Horizon chief executive officer, said: "We chose Rubb for their reputation in design, development and deployment of temporary hangars. The installation of our hangars was speedy and efficient, the project was completed on time and as promised."

The high flying academy is based at Al Ain International Airport and has been purpose built for flight training. It has set the benchmark for pilot training in the Middle East, offering fixed wing and helicopter pilot courses. Its fleet includes Cessna 172SP, Diamond DA42, Bell 206 and Bell 407 aircraft and flight simulators. The hangars will be used for the storage and maintenance of the fleet helicopters.

Horizon first viewed Rubb’s state-of-the-art hangar system at IDEX 2011 in Abu Dhabi and the relationship grew from there. The Horizon team visited Rubb’s manufacturing plant in Gateshead, UK, and personnel from Rubb travelled to Al Ain to assist with site assessments and oversee the installation of the structures.

The EFASS shelter system, which features hangars, sunshades and warehouses, is uniquely suitable for the storage and maintenance of aviation equipment and operations. The system is designed to be rapidly deployed and quickly erected anywhere in the world.
The main body of each Horizon hangar was constructed using a number of steel fabricated components together with uniquely designed steel roof and leg sections, that bolt together to form the span trusses. When assembled, high- strength robust PVC- coated polyester fabric sheets were fitted between the aluminium capping sections of adjacent spans to form the shelter.

The gable ends feature the standard aluminium EFASS frame elements complete with PVC membrane and a 21.5m x 7m heli-door at the hangar entrance. Each hangar includes two personnel doors in the closed gable ends and a porch in each sidewall. One of the aviation buildings has been fitted with an overhead roof-mounted 2,000kg gantry crane system to assist with internal maintenance procedures.

These shelters are the first Rubb EFAS Systems to feature an internal PVC membrane to provide additional thermal insulation – protecting valuable aircraft and personnel from the soaring temperatures outside.

Rubb adapted the EFASS design to include mostly steel framework instead of aluminium to meet with stringent fire regulation codes in the UAE.

The company worked with Al Futtaim Carillion during the construction of the aviation facilities and the installation was overseen by Rubb Erection Adviser Dave Cromarty. The buildings were completed in six weeks.

Project manager Andy Knox said: "It has been a challenge to launch the EFASS in the UAE because it was a completely new product and technology in that marketplace. But the team at Horizon really wanted this hangar system and have helped us to introduce this product range to the region. We have already received a number of enquiries and are looking forward to returning to IDEX in 2013 to showcase this project further."

Rubb will be promoting its Expeditionary Forces Aircraft Shelter System (EFASS) on Stand C6-002, at IDEX at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 17-21 February 2013.


  • Building type EFASS
  • Span 23.4m
  • Length 36m
  • Area 842.4sq m
  • Eaves height 3.2m
  • Overall height 8m