During one of the sessions of the 2019 edition of GALF
During one of the sessions of the 2019 edition of GALF Image Credit: Supplied

Highlights

  • 8th edition to be held at DWTC over three days
  • 50-plus speakers to address physically/virtually
  • GCAA, GDRFA and SIRA chiefs to speak
  • Israeli airports to join for the first time
  • Focus on Digital Transformation and Security Readiness post-pandemic

After holding it in digital format in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF) will be staged for the eighth time at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 24 to 26.

As a co-located event of the 20th edition of Airport Show, the world’s largest airport industry B2B event, the much-anticipated aviation industry gathering will see 50-plus speakers addressing the participants, both physically and virtually.

Talking virtually will be His Excellency Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and His Excellency Major General Khalifa Ibrahim Al Saleis, CEO of Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) that was set up in 2016 to provide Dubai with the highest levels of safety and security.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Image Credit: Supplied

The collocated show will take place across 12,000 square metres of exhibition space with participants expected from at least 90 countries despite global travel restrictions as global aviation moves back to normalcy. Other co-located events include ATC Forum and Airport Security along with new conferences focusing on Airport Passengers’ Experience and Airport Digital Transformation.

Taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, this will be the largest hybrid gathering of airport industry players after the Covid-19 pandemic extensively impacted the entire aviation industry.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers of the Airport Show, said GALF-2021 will help airports and other aviation industry players in understanding and preparing for enhancing safety, widening efficiency and improving profitability.

Participating from the Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports whose members operate 1933 airports in 183 countries, will be Stefano Baronci, Director General at Asia-Pacific, Dimitri Coll, Vice President of Airport Customer Experience, and Gary Leung, Manager for Security and Facilitation at Asia-Pacific.

For the first time since the UAE became the fourth Arab country to normalise relations with Israel, senior officials from Israel Airports Authority will participate at the event, as well as conduct a workshop titled ‘Preparing for the Cybersecurity Challenge’ exclusively for attendees.

Amongst the confirmed speakers highlighting the challenges and future technologies in Air Traffic Control are Ismaeil Al Balooshi, Assistant Director-General Aviation Safety Affairs at GCAA; David Shomar, Vice President of Civil Security at SAAB: Ryyan Waddah Tarabzoni, CEO of Saudi Air Navigation; Jan Klas, CEO of ANS Czech Republic; Yahya Abdalla AlHammadi, CEO, GAL ANS and Andrew P. Fiamingo, COO, Indra.

Apart from GDRFA, SIRA, ACI and Israel Airports Authority, key security experts speaking at the Airport Security conference include Zack Zainal, Senior Vice President, Emirates Group Security; Fahmi Jabri, General Manager, Honeywell Commercial Security Middle East, Turkey & Africa; Sudarshan Avadhany, Head of Sales Government Solutions in Middle East, Rohde & Schwarz; Ayman A. M Aboabah, VP Operations, Riyadh Airport and Johnnie Müller, Senior Vice President Security Services & Crisis Response, Copenhagen Airport, amongst others.

With a strong digital element added to the conference this year, several North American aviation experts will also be able to join their peers on the stage for the first time at the conference, giving it the largest global speakers line-up ever, including Syed Mohammed Mehdi, A.A.E. Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, San Antonio International Airport; Tara Mulrooney, Vice President Technology, Edmonton International Airport; Mark Thorpe, CEO, Ontario International Airport; Api Appulingam, PE Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development Philadelphia International and Northeast Philadelphia Airports; Paul A. Brown, CEO, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA); Ann B. Richart AAE, Director of Aeronautics, Nebraska Department of Transportation and Jeffrey Miller, Airport Director, Laredo International Airport, USA.