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Expanding UAE Aviation Sector to Require Bolstered Regulatory Effort

While the United Arab Emirates’ rapidly growing aviation industry is likely to have a positive impact on the nation’s economy, it will also pose new challenges for the regulatory sector. At the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit in Dubai, industry experts predicted that the UAE aviation sector would bring in approximately $53 billion to the national economy by the year 2020.
Boeing International Vice President Jeff Johnson, who also serves as president of Boeing Middle East, also predicted that the UAE aviation sector would grow to match the industries of the United States and China in the next two decades, noting that the country stands to triple its current airplane capacity over that period. Experts at the conference also projected that this influx of growth would create as many as 750,000 new jobs, and Mr. Johnson estimated that the industry would require an additional 62,000 technicians and 55,000 pilots to keep up with growth over the next 20 years.
Significant increases in air traffic volume will naturally accompany this growth, with UAE air traffic predicted to double by 2030. At that point, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority will handle a projected 5,100 aircraft movements per day, up from the 2,250 registered movements per day in 2014.
Mr. Johnson also addressed potential regulatory challenges posed by the burgeoning aviation sector, citing air space management, infrastructure, and safety as key focus areas. He said that cooperation between the UAE government, aviation industry, and aviation regulators would be critical to successfully absorbing the growth while keeping accident rates as low as possible.
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