UAE aviation sector makes quantum leap

May 25, 2016 2:28 pm

Many aircraft on apron at Al Maktoum International airport during Dubai Airshow 2013

Tuesday (May 24) was a major day for the UAE’s aviation sector as a number of announcements were made, suggesting the country was making a quantum leap in the region.


ICAO, ACAC membership

The country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) said yesterday that it became a member of the executive board of the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC), an Arab League body, and a candidate member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).


The chairman of the GCAA, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, who is also the Minister of Economy, said this achievement reflects the UAE’s stature in the civil aviation industry.


He noted that cooperation between Arab countries is important for standardising the procedures and achieving the highest possible safety standards in the sector, a major driver of economies in the region.


Cooperation with Italy

In another development during the day, the UAE, represented by the GCAA, signed an air services agreement (ASA) with Italy to enhance bilateral air relations with the European country.


Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of GCCA, who signed the agreement with Massimo Gaiani, director-general for Global Issues and for Asia, Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the move was part of the UAE’s strategy to attract more foreign airlines to the country and finding more operational opportunities to national airlines.


Al Suwaidi hoped the agreement will promote and encourage economic co-operation and trade exchange between the two countries.


The UAE is ranked second globally in terms of the number of open skies agreements signed with the countries of the world.


USW Aviation Academy

The UK-based University of South Wales (USW) and the Government of Dubai-owned Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) joined hands to establish the USW Aviation Academy in the emirate, with the aim of training and supplying talent to the region’s fast-expanding aerospace industry.


Scheduled to launch its first class in 2017, the academy will be based in Dubai South, the emirate’s flagship city district, which is also home to Al Maktoum International Airport and the designated World Expo 2020 site.


The two parties said the academy would be the region’s first-of-its-kind campus facility to offer highly specialised aerospace and aeronautical engineering education.


On Monday, the Gulf Center for Aviation Studies (GCAS), a division of Abu Dhabi Airports, was selected as a top-performing International Air Transport Association (IATA) accredited training school (ATS) for Africa and the MENA region.


Last week, a new private aircraft management company was launched in the UAE. Named Rakjet, the firm, will cater to all aspects of aircraft sales and acquisitions, according to its managing director Zaher Deir.


A total of 78 million passengers passed through all of the Dubai International (DXB) airport terminals in 2015 while Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) welcomed 23 million passengers during the year.



Mujeeb Rahman
By Mujeeb Rahman
Mujeeb Rahman is a business journalist at AMEinfo. His areas of focus include economy, markets, politics and international relations in MENA and Asia-Pacific regions. An ex-BBC digital journalist, he delves deeper into the subjects that matter most.