Sheikh Ahmed: Aviation Strategy Will Drive Growth

Dubai’s aviation sector is expected to account for 32 per cent of GDP by 2020, while the sector employs over five per cent of the workforce.



Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority’s (DCAA) strategy plan for 2013-2015 has laid out an ambitious roadmap to boost aviation growth in the emirate, announced HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, DCAA president and Dubai Airports chairman.

The president, who also heads the region’s largest airline, Emirates, said: “The aviation industry in Dubai has witnessed a steady growth in the past years and it continues its stride, competing with the world’s renowned aviation cities to acquire the highest share of passenger and air traffic.

“Besides the growth of the industry, we consider that it is our prime duty to ensure the implementation of the highest standards of safety and security in all activities related to aviation.”

The strategy plan of 2013-2015 covers major areas like growth, capacity, sustainability, customers and capability.

The aviation sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP is expected to rise to 32 per cent to reach up to Dhs165 billion by 2020, up from 28 per cent in 2011, according to research firm Oxford Economics.

Dubai’s aviation sector also employs more than five per cent of the ‘waged work force’ in Dubai, the plan states. However, air space congestion remains a problem in this growing industry.

According to the UAE Flight Information Region (FIR), UAE airspace recorded a total of 741,450 aircrafts in 2012. The FIR projects this figure to be 895,468 flights in 2015, over 1.13 million flight movements by 2020 and 1.63 million flights in the UAE airspace by 2030.

Earlier this year, Dubai International Airport ranked as the second busiest airport in the world in terms of the passenger traffic, replacing Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. The airport is second only to London’s Heathrow.

However, officials are optimistic about the growth plans of transforming the emirate into an aviation hub.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths had earlier said in a statement to the media that Dubai Airports hoped to overtake Heathrow by 2015 in terms of international traffic.

Official records show that Dubai International Airport handled 5,218,832 passengers in May, an 18.9 per cent year-on-year increase. It is the sixth consecutive month the airport’s passenger numbers have exceeded five million, with year-to-date traffic up 16.8 per cent to 27,124,195.

The expansion of Emirates and flydubai was reported to have fuelled the growth in passenger traffic following a number of profitable partnerships and agreements.