Dubai: The UAE’s aviation sector is expected to contribute $53 billion (Dh194.5 billion) the country’s economy by 2020, providing up to 750,000 jobs, aviation industry experts said on Sunday at the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit, currently taking place in Dubai.

In the next 20 years, the UAE’s aviation sector is expected to stand next to that of the US and China, according to Jeff Johnson, vice president of Boeing International and president of Boeing Middle East.

He said that the UAE will need more than 55,000 pilots and 62,000 technicians in the same period as a result of its growing aviation industry.

Looking at the Middle East, 3,000 aeroplanes are set for delivery in the next 20 years — triple the current capacity, Johnson said.

Asked about challenges in the aviation industry, Johnson said they included safety, airspace management, infrastructure, finance, and human skills.

“We’ve got a worldwide fatality accident rate of about 0.33 per million departures, and when you look at the anticipated growth, we’re talking about five per cent growth over the next 20 years.

It’s going to be critical that industry, government, [and] regulators team together to make sure that we approve that rate, and we’re able to absorb the growth,” he said.

Meanwhile, air traffic in the UAE is expected to double by 2030, with the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) expected to handle 5,100 aircraft movements per day, according to Ahmad Al Jallaf, assistant director general at GCAA’s Air Navigation Services.

The figure marks an increase for the 2,250 movements per day registered in 2014.

“The UAE, in isolation, cannot be in a position to cope with such traffic growth, and this is why the UAE is taking the lead to work with Middle East partners and states to achieve continuous enhancement to the air traffic system because we need the region to be able to manage air traffic,” Al Jallaf told Gulf News.