HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Air Navigation Services, affirmed that 2017 has been an exceptional and ground breaking year in the history of Dubai Air Navigation Services, revealing that the organisation has achieved three strategic projects that are of paramount significance to the Aviation sector during last year.
Accordingly, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed highlighted that the establishment of the Contingency Approach Control Room (CACR), which oversees and ensures the seamless continuity of air traffic flow during emergencies, as well the launch of the Dubai Academy for Air Traffic Management and the Airspace restructuring project for Dubai’s Airspace . The latter project yielded astounding results as it enabled further enhancement of air traffic movements capacity in the Emirate, 25% at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and 100% at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) in specific, in addition to enhancing operations through terminating delays as airlines had to wait for Air Traffic Control clearance before landing due to congested skies in the past.
Moreover, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed commented on the importance of the Airspace restructuring project clarifying that in addition to the operational benefits it has yielded, its implementation has also enabled carriers flying from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to save a wholesome total of AED 53 million from their annual budgets. His Highness also expressed his utmost appreciation and gratitude to the magnanimous cooperation and support that the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has demonstrated through spearheading the APO project, as it strives to vehemently strengthen the United Arab Emirates’ position as an international travel and transportation hub.
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed indicated that the successful completion and implementation of these projects are only initial steps that lead to the launch of a series of larger than life projects in the near future which have been devised based on the vision of HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the Emirate of Dubai into a globally leading airport hub.
Sustainability in Dubai’s Economy
In light of the significant role that Dubai Air Navigation Services contributes in shaping a sustainable economy for the Emirate of Dubai, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed stated: “Dubai Air Navigation Services dominates a central role in enabling the Aviation sector to be one of the major contributors to Dubai’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which currently stands at 28% and is forecasted to increase to 35% by 2020. The organisation has been able to play this transformational role through multiple facets; providing employment as well as training and development opportunities, in addition to flawlessly managing thousands of air traffic movements across Dubai’s airspace on annual basis, and the implementation of the latest cutting edge and innovative technology in efforts to cater to the continuous growth in air traffic capacity throughout our airports”.
Dubai’s airspace to witness 600,000 air traffic movements by 2020
Air Traffic Control Officers at Dubai Air Navigation Services have seamlessly and efficiently managed more than 500,000 air traffic movements in Dubai’s airspace throughout 2017, which included both civilian and military aircrafts. From those figures, more than 400,000 movements occurred at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports in specific. This comprised of a total of 205,131 movements in landing and 205,093 movements in departures, recording a daily average of 1134 movements during the year. And on the other hand, the remaining movements were directed to Sharjah International airport and other airports in the Northern Emirates.
Whereas Air Traffic Control Officers operating from Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) managed a total of 34,234 air traffic movements throughout 2017.
Based on reports issued by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, sector indicators reveal that air traffic control officers are forecasted to navigate and manage more than 600,000 air traffic movements in Dubai’s Airspace by 2020. This will come as a result of the full completion of the final phases of the airspace restructuring and expansion, and as demand on international travel increases through Dubai International Airport, enabling it to withstand its strong position of being the World’s leading airport in terms of international passenger figures.
Recent official reports also indicate that international passenger figures at Dubai International Airport on its own are forecasted to increase to more than 100 million passengers by 2020, whereas it is also forecasted that combined figures for both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airport are to increase to a solid 124 million passengers by 2023.
AED 60 million invested in Air Traffic Management
On the other hand, H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli, the Director General of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and the CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services stated that dans has invested AED 60 million in the three strategic projects that have been mentioned earlier. The return on investment translates into large scale results that drive further enhancement in Dubai Airports capability to cater to the continuous growth in air traffic movements capacity. The organisation has also been successful in managing one of the largest challenges that the Air Traffic Management sector encounters and that is the continuous catering to ever growing air traffic movement capacity, a success that is a result of combining implementation of the latest cutting edge and innovative technologies with the organisation’s most valuable resource-its specialised and talented team in air traffic management”.
Moreover, H.E. added: “We have been able to reach new frontiers in accordance to the vision of HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and due to the everlasting support and guidance we receive from HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, which have supported our journey in growing and moving forward to dominate global standards. H.E. also stated that innovation and sustainability are the key pillars we have utilised while designing the road map of the Aviation sector, which aims at positioning Dubai International Airport at the forefront of all global airports in terms of international passenger figures, through delivering an enjoyable travel experience that leaves a positive mark, as well as the adaptation of technology to serve our ambitions that exceed beyond the sky”.
Contingency Approach Control Room (CACR) – the first of its nature in the MENA region
H.E. Mohammed Ahli also added : “In an unprecedented incident where Dubai Airports experienced for the first time in its history a technical halt due to a glitch in the main power supply, the Contingency Approach Control Room- facility operated by dans was activated and utilised, inspite of the fact that it has not been officially launched yet. The CACR is a contingency facility which is activated during times of emergency and crisis only, and that ensures the vitality of air traffic management operations are kept to a seamless standard and remain uninterrupted. The immediate activation of the CACR facility until the situation was resolved in the matter of minutes, demonstrates dans capabilities and long term strategic planning that enables it to successfully and efficiently address any planned or unplanned emergency situations in a professional manner. It is also noteworthy to state that this facility is the first of its kind across the entire MENA region.
The organisation has invested a total of AED 18 million in the establishment of the CACR facility, which is located in the premises of Al Maktoum International Airport. The facility houses the latest innovative and cutting edge technologies of its kind, as well as radar equipment that specifically focus on Approach services. Air traffic control officers have been trained on the management of the equipment The facility also incorporates all of the same equipment that already exists in the organisation’s official Approach facility that mirror ongoing operations, which enables the air traffic control team to continue their duties immediately in an efficient manner during a crisis .
Dubai Air Navigation Services continuously strives to enhance its resources, both Human capital and technologically, to ensure the safe, efficient and expeditious delivery of air traffic management services in Dubai Airports and part of the Northern Emirates. And accordingly, the CACR facility contains all the necessary equipment and tools that enable it to manage all types of flights across all of the nation’s airspace at large, at times of an emergency or as and when required.
Dubai Academy for Air Traffic Management
In efforts to further enhance the Aviation sector as well as cater to both domestic and international market requirements, the Dubai Academy for Air Traffic Management will provide bespoke courses in air navigation services, air traffic engineering, airspace design amidst several others. Upon its official inauguration, the academy is going to be located in Dubai South.
On that note, H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli, CEO of dans stated: “The establishment of the Academy demonstrates our profound dedication to create opportunities that cater to both local and international demand on air traffic control officers and air traffic engineers, given that these roles are highly specialised and unique. On a global scale, Dubai enjoys a highly trustworthy and credible reputation with regards to the forte of the services provided in the Aviation sector on both regionally and internationally, and accordingly we forecast a widespread interest and a surge of applicants to the courses offered by the academy”.
And inspite of the fact that the academy hasn’t been officially inaugurated, dans has already received around 24 thousand applications from the Air Navigation Services Provider of Indonesia. The academy provides attested certifications that are aligned with international standards such as that of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE and Euro control.
Additionally, H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli expressed his utmost appreciation to H.E. Eng. Sultan Al Mansoori, the Minister of Economy and the Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and to H.E. Saif Al Suwaidi, the Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, for their continuous support to all the projects and initiatives launched by dans that strives to strengthen and enhance air traffic management services in the Emirate of Dubai.
Airspace restructuring of Dubai’s airspace
In 2017, the Air traffic management sector witnessed the implementation of an unprecedented project that has been implemented for the first time in the history of the organisation, the Air space restructuring project (ARP) of Dubai’s airspace. With AED 27 million in investment, the project yielded groundbreaking results enabling fuel reduction for airlines worth of up to AED 53 million on annual basis. Moreover, the project also resulted in tangible significant reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as the enhancement of air traffic movements capacity for Dubai and the Northern Emirates with up to 25% at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and 100% at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC).This in turn has resulted in terminating hold up for airlines on arrival that used to occur in the past due to congested skies.
In light of the ARP, dans has successfully implemented 90 new procedures and introduced 150 routes as part of the new airspace design in Dubai. In addition, 168 air traffic control officers were trained on managing the operations in a safe and expeditious manner in effort to maximize the utilisation of the new airspace across the Emirate.
AED 9 Billion worth of losses for airports in the region due to flight delays
Based on forecasts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger figures are expected to increase up to 7.8 million across the world by 2036, which is double the current figure in 2017, from which the Middle East region receives 517 million passengers. Specialists in the sector also highlight that flight delays in arrivals and departures or during approach, led to financial losses mounting up to AED 9 billion to airports in the region during 2015 only.
Dubai Air Navigation services (dans) is the air navigation services provider for Dubai and part of the Northern Emirates. dans also provides air navigation services for airport authorities and numerous prestigious airlines, such as Dubai Airports and private airports in the UAE.