Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Runway refurbishment to help Dubai airport ‘absorb’ traffic growth

Runway refurbishment to help Dubai airport ‘absorb’ traffic growth
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed: Ready to reap the benefits of the remarkable achievement
Mohammed Ahli:  Air traffic growing between five to seven per cent annually
DCAA employees surge 15 per cent; 28 per cent increase in Emiratisation  
40 new airlines taking to skies in 11 countries
Dubai, September 9, 2014: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, has asserted that the refurbishment of two runways was a strategic infrastructure development and would enable Dubai International Airport ‘absorb’ traffic growth.
In his column in the September edition of Via Dubai, the official bilingual newsletter of DCAA (, he said: “The project has been acknowledged as the biggest specialized refurbishment of airport runways in the modern history of civil aviation. Dubai International Airport, ranked world’s second busiest airport for international passengers in 2013, is now ready to reap the benefits of this major investment and remarkable achievement.”

He added: “We are working with confidence to accomplish our goal of welcoming 70 million passengers by the end of year 2014. All performance indicators of Dubai International Airport strongly suggest that we will be able to achieve our objectives. The airport has been receiving five million passengers every month since the past 18 consecutive months, a strong indicator of the growing importance of Dubai as a most sought-after air connectivity hub.”
Sheikh Ahmed said the refurbishment will help the Dubai aviation industry a great deal in absorbing the anticipated increase in aircraft movements in the UAE, which are expected to jump to 1.2 million movements by 2020.
Mohammed Ahli, Director General of DCAA, said: “The upgraded runways would go a long way in handling the air traffic which has been consistently growing between five to seven per cent annually, higher than the global average of 3.5 per cent.”
He said the runways now have High Speed Turnoff (HST) allowing aircraft to vacate the quicker, permitting another to land or depart in a shorter space of time. The aircraft arrivals are to be increased from the present 33 to 45 an hour by 2016. The UAE airspace system currently handles approximately 600,000 movements a year. Dubai is projected to handle 660,000 movements by 2020. Dubai’s passenger and cargo aircraft movements are projected to go reach 416,650 and 35,000, respectively, in 2015.  
In an interview, Hamad Al Janahi, Head of Human Resources at DCAA, said Emiratisation programme has been progressing well at the authority with 28 per cent increase in a span of less than six years, surging from 42 per cent in 2008 to 70 per cent in 2014. He said the Emiratisation in higher management has reached 100 per cent while it stands at 77 per cent at the middle management levels.
The number of DCAA employees has increased by 15 per cent since the opening of Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central (DWC) with cargo operations in 2010 and passenger services in 2013. In 2014, the number of DCAA employees rose to a total of 105, of which 73 were Emiratis.
The cover story offers insights into the preparations in several countries about new airlines reading to take off, offering the industry competition and a plenty of choice to travellers. Six new airlines each in the US and India are starting up, while in China up to 15 airlines are planned. Seychelles will see its second airline taking off soon, while Canada will have two. Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cambodia will have one each. Costa Rica will see five new carriers flying out of its airspace.
The In Focus section highlights a study by global technology giant, Hewlett-Packard about how technologies like wearables, geolocation and biometric immigration and security control is making the airport experience better for the travelers. Digital technologies are transforming the way airports and airlines connect with customers and how staff goes about their daily work.  
The Technology section has reports about 98 airports joining carbon reduction programme of ACI, how airlines are investing in smart technologies to manage flight disruptions, new system to reduce energy costs of airports, Boeing collaboration to turn new tobacco plant into jet fuel, texting takes off for pilots and ATCs in Canada, Honeywell developing new aviation technologies and how Google Glass-style pilot gear could end plane delays.

Major challenges facing the Freight-forwarding markets declining in value by 3.3 per cent from 2012 is the main report in the Cargo and Logistics section.  The other reports cover the decision to have dedicated cargo terminals in 24 Indian airports, Dominican Republic’s move to impose e-commerce tax for courier companies, Etihad Airways strategic move to revive dormant Alitalia Cargo and decision by the US Borders and Customs authorities on advancing ACAS pilot programme.
In Opinion Section, Tim Johnson, Head of Policy at the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) talks about the new runway investment, while the benefits of strengthening the fundamentals of air hub has been highlighted by Lee Seow Hiang, CEO, Changi Airport Group (CAG).  Marc Parent, President & CEO of CAE argued about aerospace being a flagship industry for Canada. Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of IATA, presented the roadmap for the way forward for the aviation industry in a global environment.
Latest developments in different parts of the world, including the Middle East, GCC and the UAE have been covered by the newsletter. A flashback page takes the readers down the journey about Dubai airport’s growth since the 1960s creating a new ‘air’ Silk Road.
The entire content of the print edition is available on online at  

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