A new helicopter maintenance and spare parts company, AWAS, has been formed in a partnership between Abu Dhabi Aviation and AgustaWestland, the helicopter design and manufacturing company. The announcement came during the first day of Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2014, which is being held from February 25th to 27th. "The new company, which is operating from the Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ), is the result of a strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi Aviation company and AgustaWestland company," said Nadder Ahmed Al-Hamadi , Abu Dhabi aviation CEO. The new partnership will provide expertise, skills and technical and logistic support in the helicopter field, in addition to a high maintenance level for more than 150 AgustaWestland Helicopters in the Gulf and Middle East region. "AWAS's birth will enhance Abu Dhabi aviation capabilities and constitutes a leap forward in the quality of services provided to its customers. Taking into consideration that AgustaWestland helicopters are widely used by Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police Air Wing, Oman Police, Lebanese Air Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, and ARAMCO of Saudi Arabia, we will not only be able to expand the coverage of services to our customers, but also attract new customers," Nadder added. Mark Thistlethwaite, CEO, AWAS, said that AWAS brings added value to the U.A.E. in terms of aircraft technical knowledge transfer, and will pave the way to a long term commercial partnership with the U.A.E. aviation sector. "Through its presence in the Abu Dhabi Airport Free zone, AWAS will be able to respond quickly and immediately to our customers' requirements for spares, and also provide helicopter inspection, repair, modifications and overhaul facilities in the U.A.E., without having to move the aircraft to its manufacturing companies in Europe or the USA," Mark added. The company, which will be providing its services 24 hours a day, will also cater for the needs of the region's helicopters outside UAE. Mohammed Al-Romaithi, Abu Dhabi Aviation's project officer for AWAS said that the company's formation will be a fundamental factor in facilitating the flow of aircraft manufacturing knowledge, as well as providing a platform to train the national cadre, creating jobs for U.A.E. citizens, and building the necessary skills in aircraft technology and engineering.