DUBAI: Industry safety experts at the World Aviation Safety Summit 2019 to be held on December 9 and 10, will present potential new solutions to the problem of airspace congestion for the Middle East and wider regions, which costs in excess of $7 billion in lost productivity time to passengers and adds more than $9 billion to airline operating costs.
The average delay per flight attributed to air traffic control issues in the GCC region is currently estimated at 29 minutes, and this number could double by 2025 if urgent measures are not taken. One of the key challenges is the fact that a larger part of the airspace in the world is allocated for military aviation rather than civil or commercial.
There are currently a number of ongoing initiatives to decongest the region’s airspace, including the GCC Air Navigation Committee and the Middle East ATM Enhancement Programme. There have been some improvements in recent years such as Oman upgrading its airspace technology, which has led to southbound flights running more efficiently.
Khalid Al Arif, Executive Director, Aviation Safety and Environment Sector at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said, “It is important that we look at new solutions to airspace management as aviation continues to grow in the region. The industry is critical to the economies of the region and we must find ways to create greater efficiencies. The World Aviation Safety Summit will provide us with an opportunity to discuss the progress made over recent years and how we can continue to collaborate as an industry to ensure that we maximise the available airspace.”
Potential solutions that will be presented include redesigning the regional air space and upgrading technology that will enable increased capacity for airlines. The summit will include a session dedicated to air traffic control and airspace management, which will showcase the value and necessity of addressing problems.
According to an IATA report, solving the challenges of airspace management and creating greater collaboration could lead to an additional 620,000 jobs and $80 million in GDP by 2037.
The World Aviation Safety Summit 2019, which is being hosted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, is returning to Dubai this year for its seventh edition. The event will bring together local and international stakeholders and provide them with a platform to review and examine the implementation of cutting-edge aviation safety procedures and future-proof regulatory frameworks.