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UAE airports on recovery track as traffic increases by 12.3%

Dubai, Abu Dhabi had eight of the ten busiest routes in 2009

Dubai International Airport
Image Credit: Gulf News archive
Airport traffic has increased massively since May 2009. Passenger movements are up to 54,000 compared to 48,000 last year.
Gulf News

Dubai: UAE airports are experiencing a recovery in passenger traffic, with growth last month of 12.3 per cent, translating into 54,000 traffic movements, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said yesterday.

Compared with 48,000 traffic movements in May 2009, traffic was at its annual highest last month, the GCAA said.

Average daily traffic movements in May were 1,744, an increase of 12.3 per cent compared with 1,553 traffic movements per day in the same month last year.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports had eight of the 10 busiest international routes in terms of weekly capacity in 2009, according to a study.

The route with the highest frequency was Dubai to London, with 1,141 flights per week served by nine operators.

Dubai to Singapore, Dubai to New York, Dubai to Bangkok were in the top five.


The International Air Transport Association has forecast that traffic in the Middle East will grow by 15.2 per cent in 2010, over two and a half times faster than the global average of 5.6 per cent.

The industry watchdog recently revised its 2010 forecast and is now predicting that Middle East carriers will post profits of $100 million (Dh367 million), a more optimistic view from the earlier prediction of a $400 million loss.

Of the UAE airports, Dubai International saw the highest number of traffic movements with 24,465 flights, or 45.3 per cent of the UAE total.

Transit flights were next at 11,947, representing 22 per cent of total movements. Abu Dhabi ranked third with 8,064 movements, or 15 per cent of the total in May.

Sharjah International Airport ranked fourth with 5,393 movements representing 10 per cent of the total, while airports of Fujairah, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah made up the rest.

The GCAA will conduct the ICAO Global Civil Aviation SAR Forum this month that will focus on search and rescue operations in civil aviation.

As far as air safety is concerned, the GCAA issued and renewed 22 certificates for aircraft maintenance companies, four aircraft registration certificates and 54 airworthiness certificates. It conducted 42 inspections and audits at the local and non-local levels, issued two air operator certificates, completed five aircraft modification transactions and issued 29 simulator certificates. No air operator was banned in May, but two aircraft were.

As for security and infrastructure operations, the GCAA conducted 34 inspections and audits of hazardous material shippers operating in the UAE and issued five permits for companies working in this field. It also issued one certificate for teaching a course on hazardous material in training institutes and recorded seven violations in May in relation to infrastructure safety standards.

The GCAA prepared 187 airport control tower reports, held 40 internal and external meetings in relation to security and infrastructure operations with several institutions and companies operating in the field of civil aviation in the UAE, and provided two emergency training courses. As such, activities related to safety in May stood at 276.

The GCAA in May signed an air transport agreement and a memorandum of understanding with Mauritania, and held joint committee meetings to discuss strengthening cooperation in air transport with South Korea, Kazakhstan and Germany.