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Posted 26 October 2016 · Add Comment

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has unveiled its 2017-2021 strategy plan to guide the industry's development within the Emirates, writes Barbara Saunders


The plan was drafted following widespread stakeholder collaboration and an in-depth business environment analysis which focused on the global economy, the global aviation industry outlook, the UAE aviation industry, the hosting of Expo 2020 and technological developments within the industry. The plan lays out seven strategic objectives and 41 supporting initiatives.

The strategic objectives are:
• Development and enforcement of safety and security regulations to international standards and best practices.

• Continuous improvements of safety and service standards in air navigation services’ provision.

• Elevate UAE aviation in the global arena.

• Continuous improvements in bi-lateral relations.

• Develop and implement contemporary resource management strategies to address business environment challenges.

• Ensure GCAA services are provided to quality, efficiency and transparency standards.

• Instill innovation culture within the corporate working environment.

Introducing the strategy, His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the GCAA’s Director General said the 2017–2021 cycle will see a continuation of compliance enhancement through the creation of awareness, risk based audits, improvement of services through stakeholder engagement, global connectivity through continuous consultations, negotiations and infrastructure enhancements.

“We have committed ourselves to incorporate the Federal Government’s initiatives related to 7 Star Services and Reading. We will continue to maintain our focus on organizational sustainability and performance underpinned by a strong focus on people, services and processes enabled through development and empowered with innovation,” he said.

The plan emphasizes that GCAA’s top priority is to ensure safety within the aviation sector and especially the travelling public and says it is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Risks and Civil Aviation Arising From Conflict Zones established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The plan also underlines GCAA’s commitment to supporting improvements in operational efficiencies through airspace redesign, by creating awareness through promotional plans and by leading the state action plan implementation in the UAE.

Further investment in the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre is also on the cards with the plan citing “further augmented ATM capabilities by modernising communication and navigational aids, as well as enhancing skills of our air traffic controllers to strengthen their knowledge and capabilities to better enable them to handle increasingly complex operations.”

The plan clearly outlines GCAA’s intent to share safety data and says “important initiatives are being put in place to share safety data with pertinent stakeholders.” This, says the plan, puts the responsibility of the integrity and reliability of data management systems squarely on GCAA shoulders. “We are putting initiatives in place to encourage interaction between various users of the data and that appropriate tools, processes and expertise are available to carry out actionable and meaningful data analysis activities,” says the plan.

Laila Hareb, (pictured right) GCAA’s Assistant Director General Strategy & International Affairs, said the plan demonstrated the organisation’s commitment to “meet the Federal Government’s expectations of transforming the aviation sector as a major contributor to the country’s economic development.” This, she said, would be achieved by improving the quality of regulation, including the ease of accessing GCAA regulatory services, as well as programmes to enhance services that improve service delivery, efficiency and effectiveness.

“Common to all three themes is the objective of strengthening the capabilities of the GCAA – i.e. people, systems and processes – to deliver greater effectiveness and efficiency. The GCAA seeks to enhance the capabilities of the aviation sector to contribute further towards the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy by promoting innovation, R&D, strengthening the regulatory framework and encouraging investment. The 2017–21 plan articulates our leadership’s commitment towards the UAE National Agenda. We will manage our regulatory obligations in such a way that supports the growth of the aviation industry while ensuring the UAE’s global standing for safe and secure civil aviation sector,” she said.

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