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GCAA to Tackle Airspace Capacity Issues with Traffic Expected to Double by 2030

October 9th 2014 - Dubai, UAE: The Middle East is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasting an annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent for the region. This is reflected by Dubai International Airport ousting London’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international flights earlier this year.

In order to keep pace with this growth, heavy investments in high capacity airports are being made in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. Similar investments to modernise the region’s airspace are required to keep up with Air Traffic Management (ATM) capacity demands which, in turn, could begin to constrain the region’s economic development.

Specific resolutions, such as de-conflicting air routes, reducing bottlenecks and implementing flexible use of airspace to enhance airports and airspace capacity must be discussed on a regional level in order to be resolved. To help tackle these issues, it was announced yesterday that the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is officially endorsing and hosting the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit in Dubai on 18 - 19 January 2015. This summit will be held alongside another GCAA hosted event, the ICAO Middle East ATM Enhancement Programme (MAEP) Meeting that will also be held in Dubai on 20 - 22 January 2015.

H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, stated that, “The aviation industry is a key economic driver, not just in the UAE, but also for many of the economies in the Middle East region and beyond. However, the region’s airspace is becoming severely congested. Enhancing the UAE’s airspace and contributing to enhance the region’s airspace rests amongst the GCAA’s top priorities. Hosting this summit alongside the ICAO MAEP Meeting will allow us all to work together collaboratively and discuss the best projects and activities for the region.”

Mr. Ahmed Al Jallaf, Assistant Director General for Air Navigation Services at the GCAA and Chairman of the ICAO MAEP Board said, “The Future Air Transportation Systems Summit and the ICAO MAEP meeting will bring together the key stakeholders responsible for Air Traffic Management, Avionic Systems and Airfield Operations to meet and discuss ongoing activities, lessons learned and strategies to maximise air traffic safety and efficiency by modernising the region’s air transport infrastructure.

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