The Middle East’s air passenger numbers are expected to reach 517 million in the next two decade, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast.
The rise in demand for air connectivity will see aircraft movements in the region go up 5.2 per cent by 2030 and Gulf airports expected to handle 450 million passengers by 2020, according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Globally, Iata expects a total of 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the 4 billion air travellers expected to fly this year. The prediction is based on a 3.6 per cent compound annual growth rate.
The Middle East region continues recording impressive growth in flight movements and passenger and cargo volumes, thereby keeping the civil aviation under the spotlight.
Changing times and unbridled airports expansion running concurrently with massive growth in existing facilities is not without challenges.
The Air Traffic Management (ATM) tops the chart of existing as well as future challenges, with the airports and civil aviation authorities eagerly looking up to meaningful platforms to deliberate about effective solutions.
The Arab world’s second biggest economy set the ball rolling by introducing in 2017 fag-end the world’s first airspace structure completely based on Performance Based Navigation (PBN) with a Navigation Specification of RNAV-1 (GNSS).
The project is expected to assist in meeting the forecasted air traffic demand until 2022 and help airlines save $15 million in fuel in the first year.
The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), along with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS), has been in the lead in the efforts to reduce the air congestion through various initiatives.
Many countries in the region and beyond its borders remain active to adopt the required changes to manage the skies sufficiently for their air traffic now and in the future.
Undoubtedly the first adopter of newest technologies, the UAE is looked at by several countries for hosting forums showcasing innovation and cutting-edge ATM technologies to effectively handle the air traffic growth.
Keeping in view the authorities unfaltering concerns and ever-growing market demands, the organisers of Airport Show is introducing Air Traffic Control Forum as a co-located event of the hugely-popular annual trade show in 2018.
Backed by the government and other industry-specific organisations, ATC Forum is all set to see the leading lights of the ATC industry making it to the timely platform to hear and be heard with a one day conference and three day exhibition.
Industry players have welcomed the ATC Forum as part of the world’s biggest airport industry show, taking into account the air traffic growth projections and investments in airports and related facilities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, as predicted by the ICAO, Iata and Canso.
Mohammed Ahli, director general of DCAA and CEO of Dans, said: “I consider the inclusion of the ATC Forum as part and parcel of the Airport Show is a timely decision, as they go hand in hand. This will provide a platform that will enable the regulators and the stakeholders to discuss matters of interest. Dubai is aware that ATM plays a pivotal role in making Dubai the world’s most-preferred airport destination. Dubai’s two international airports has put in place most advanced airport technologies to ensure safe and secured air travel, whilst improving airspace capacity.”
The 2018 edition of the Airport Show is to be held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of DCAA, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, from May 7 to 9.
Now in its 18th year, the world’s largest annual airport exhibition will also have as co-located events: Airport Security, Women in Aviation and Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF). Airport Show is supported by DCAA, Dubai Airports and dnata among others.
Daniyal Qureshi, group event director, Reed Exhibitions, said: “The new addition to the show will connect the air traffic control community towards the goal of supporting progress across the regions. It will bring together 1,000 ATC/ATM professionals under one roof for three days. They will discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities in the industry. The situation needs a thorough review and debate as, in 2015 alone, it was estimated that the ATC delays cost US$9.1 billion in the Middle East.”
The aviation industry contributes more than 14 percent of the UAE’s GDP, with over 5,200 daily air traffic movements projected by 2030. Dubai airports are expected to handle over 100 million passengers by 2020. GCAA has projected that there will be approximately 1.85 million flights in 2030 per annum to and from the UAE.
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