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UAE calls for GCC collaboration to combat airspace congestion

Posted 21 January 2015 · Add Comment

The UAE Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) urged civil aviation authorities in the GCC region for more cooperation to deal with the airways traffic congestion in the region's skyline.

The congestion, which is considered a to be a challenge facing the promising growth opportunities for the region countries was discussed during the Future Air Transportation Summit (FATSS) in Dubai on 18-19 January, endorsed by the GCAA. 

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of GCAA, remarked: “The GCC countries’ congested skies, are expecting an annual growth of 6% in air traffic movements in the coming few years. To manage this efficiently, we are looking at different and creative approaches to collaborate and find effective solutions together. Technology and modern innovations are key factors, together with regional cooperation.”

The GCAA Director General expressed his confidence that the GCC countries will succeed to overcome this challenge, as it brings in an overwhelming opportunities for the local and regional civil aviation landscape.

“The UAE GCAA has always promoted and valued the global collaboration through effective partnerships with regional and international organizations and to secure the best results of our investments, a close collaboration with the industry’s partners, customers and suppliers is extremely important.”  

Furthermore Omar Bin Ghaleb, Deputy Director General of the GCAA, who did the welcoming speech on behalf of H.E Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, commented: “The UAE witness rapid traffic growth that necessitates immediate attention and commitment to ensure safe and efficient air traffic operations. As a result, various projects have been launched to enhance air traffic capacity covering both the airports and the airspace. It is a must that we steer our focus and investments towards enhancing the airspace infrastructure and modernizing our ANS systems and new technologies.”  

He called air navigation providers and airways management teams to come up with modern technology and logistic innovation that would help in successfully facing the current challenge. 

Endorsed and hosted by the GCAA, the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit was held alongside the ICAO Middle East Airspace Enhancement Program (MAEP) Steering Committee meeting, and brought together the C-level executives, senior decision makers and government officials responsible for Airspace Management, Air Traffic Control, Avionic Systems and Airfield Operations. 

Ahmed Al Jallaf, executive director of Air Navigation Services at the GCAA, emphasized on the crucial role that civil aviation plays in sustaining economic growth for many countries in the world, as over 60 million people are having direct jobs in aviation industry worldwide, besides other millions of indirect jobs made available by the sector. 

Al Jallaf disclosed during the second panel discussion on Sunday, that the air traffic movements in the UAE, which boost around 2200 movements a day, is expected to reach up to 5100 movements daily in 2030, according to the current growth rates. 

He added that the civil aviation authorities in the Middle East need to amend the conception of partnership and teamwork to reach a position where they can benefit from the promising opportunities in the civil aviation industry, which would reflect on their national economies, pointing out to the   ICAO Middle East Airspace Enhancement Program (MAEP) Steering Committee meeting which targets to partner regional countries for maximizing capturing opportunities and widening air traffic movement between those countries. 

He said the proposed meeting will discuss a number of projects that aim to facilitate the air movement between countries of the region, hoping that participating countries to show the required commitment, and provide necessary resources to make the proposed ideas visible.

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