Aviation industry unites in Dubai to pay tribute to Captain Hamish Harding

Adgully Bureau |

Action Aviation paid tribute to its Founder and former Chairman, Captain Hamish Harding, at an Aviation Industry event to coincide with Dubai Airshow. Taking place at Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, the event brought together colleagues, partners, and friends to mark the extraordinary life of the UAE based businessman and explorer. 

The company, which Harding founded in Dubai in 2004, will remain dedicated to his vision, goals and aspirations under the leadership of new CEO, Mark Butler and Managing Director, Frederic Dubant. Butler worked alongside Harding for 16 years, helping to take Action Aviation from entrepreneurial start-up to globally recognised and respected aircraft dealership and Butler will ensure the company continues to thrive in Harding’s legacy. Butler has over 20-years’ experience in aircraft and helicopter sales and has held a private pilot license since 2001; Dubant has worked in aviation for more than two decades for Labinal, Airbus and Comlux where he was EVP of Commercial, Business Jets before joining Action Aviation in 2021. 

Mark Butler, CEO of Action Aviation, said: “Hamish was never afraid to try anything in aviation and he achieved so much in his life, both with his business and his explorations. It was only fitting that to coincide with Dubai Airshow we mark his incredible accomplishments and a life well lived in the country he loved and called home. Over the last 19 years, Action Aviation has become one of the world leaders in aircraft dealership, driven by Hamish’s commitment to building trust, operating with integrity, and respecting everyone we do business with. We will continue, in his legacy, to take the business forward with the same passion and ambition.”

In addition to founding Action Aviation, Harding had a huge appetite for exploration, scientific discovery and conservation. His accomplishments include holding the record for the fastest flight in a light jet SJ30 from the US to Dubai, setting up two air ambulance operations in the Middle East, introducing the first regular business jet services to the Antarctic and accompanying astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the South Pole – making Buzz the oldest person to reach the southernmost point on earth age 86 along with Harding’s son Giles who became the youngest at age 12. 

In July 2019, 50 years after the first man walked on the moon, in his famed One More Orbit Mission, Harding broke the round-the-world record for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER ultra long-range business jet. The attempt pushed the boundaries of human ingenuity - just like the Apollo 11 mission half a century ago.

Harding became Chair for the Middle East Chapter of the Explorer’s Club and continued with his explorations, traversing the deepest depths of the ocean with Victor Vescovo at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench breaking two more world records; flying to space as part of the suborbital Blue Origin NS-21 mission and supplying a customised Boeing 747-400 aircraft to transport eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India to reintroduce the cheetah into India. 

Action Aviation is attending Dubai Airshow from 13th – 17th November, showcasing the company’s Boeing Business Jet.