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Monthly Newsletter issued by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority

Dubai Airports unveils new brand identity

UAE’s aviation investments total US$272 billion

EK operated 192,000 flights in 2018

Blockchain Boom Inside DCAA DCAA gets ISO 22301 7 accreditation Education ministry 8 delegation visits DCAA

DCAA-sponsored 9 event creates world record

Issue 69 February 2019

Airport engineering helping air traffic’s impact on climate DCAA Interview


NASA to use blockchain technology for ATM

What’s next for aviation? The future starts now

Our mission is to move up on the Happiness Meter Maryam Abdulhamid Bin Ali

Middle East News 24

ATM 28



Cargo & Logistics 31

Angela Gittens


Technology 32

Gateways to beauty and opportunity is a government owned company responsible to manage and operate the civil Airports in the Sultanate of Oman under Oman Aviation Group (OAG)

Muscat Int‘l Airport

Salalah Airport


from the President

City of Tomorrow


t has been observed that tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today and that the task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it. Dubai has remained enterprising and forward-looking as it believes that change is the essence of life, prompting global policy-makers to call it a City of Tomorrow. The UAE has emerged as a hub for any innovation and continues to show signs of audacious shifts towards embracing innovation. The UAE now has a dedicated Minister for Artificial Intelligence – a world’s first, and the national strategy in place for Artificial Intelligence. The US-based think-tank, The Brookings Institution, observed: “Few cities have taken to this role of experimenting with artificial intelligence in service delivery more so than Dubai. Dubai is proving to be particularly adept at identifying opportunities to experiment and implement these artificial intelligence technologies.” Dubai has plans to be the world’s first city fully powered by blockchain by 2020. The adoption of blockchain would help the government save US$2.99 billion spent annually to provide and document transactions and documents. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is hosting a conference on blockchain in aviation. This year, the Global Airports Leaders Forum (GALF) will be discussing the Future of Blockchain in Aviation.

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Blockchain technology is helping airlines create and achieve new efficiencies and services models. Emirates Airlines is experimenting with blockchain technology as a potential means of distribution in the future. Dnata’s cargo operations has created a new value proposition for cargo service delivery through the use of blockchain technology. An Accenture study noted that blockchain technology will continue to take flight in airlines over the next decade. “Use cases not even conceived of today will become every day reality, reducing complexity and costs while improving the travel journey with real-time travel experiences.”

February 2019



February 2019

In 2007, the functions of the Department of Civil Aviation were restructured. Accordingly, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) was established as a regulatory body, by a decree of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, on proclamation of law No. 21 of 2007, as amended by law No. 19 of 2010, to undertake development of Air Transport Industry in the Emirate of Dubai and to oversee all aviation-related activities.


Inside DCAA 07

DCAA gets ISO 22301 accreditation

08 DCAA distributes HH’s Qissati


Education ministry delegation visits DCAA

09 DCAA-sponsored event creates world


Via Dubai is the official bilingual monthly newsletter of DCAA, designed to highlight the initiatives and developments in the aviation industry and act as a knowledge-sharing platform for all the stakeholders and aviation professionals.

General Supervision Mohammed Abdulla Ahli Coordinator Hanan Al Mazimi


Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Marketing Manager Fahed Mohammed E-mail: Legal Disclaimer

The views expressed in the articles are of the writers and not necessarily belong to DCAA. We take all reasonable steps to keep the information current and accurate, but errors can occur. The information is therefore provided as is, with no guarantee of accuracy, completeness or timeliness. The DCAA or Via Dubai does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. Via Dubai does not endorse or recommend any article, product, service or information mentioned in the newsletter. Any perceived slight of any person or organisation is completely unintentional.

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DCAA Interview

Maryam Abdulhamid Bin Ali

Our mission is to move up on the Happiness Meter


Our Vision

The World Airport, Dubai

Our Mission

To achieve leadership and ensure sustainability in the field of safety, security and environmental protection in the civil aviation sector and to support an attractive investment environment for the aviation industry . Toll Free:80083222 Contact number:+97147770000 Fax:+97142244573 Email:;

DCAA Working Hours:Sunday – Thursday, 0730 - 1430 (GMT+4) Location:Dubai International Airport, Terminal (1), Level (1), Gate no. (4), (Arrivals Side) P.O. Box:49888 Dubai - United Arab Emirates

February 2019



from the Director General

Future technology


ubai has been closely working to support the continuous development of the emirate’s capabilities as a world-class aviation hub. The aviation sector in Dubai is expected to have a total annualised impact of US$53.1 billion by 2020 to the GDP. The UAE aviation sector’s investments has been estimated by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at US$272.2 billion. The contribution of the aviation sector to the country’s GDP in 2018 reached 15 per cent, with the UAE accounting for around 45 per cent of the Arab aviation sector. Dubai has been very receptive to adopting new technology for better governance. The emirate has been maintaining a lead position in promoting and using technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain for delivery of services to the people. The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has been proactive towards facilitating better services to the industry players. The Authority completed the smart transformation process of its services by launching nine new smart services last year, along with launching the Integrated Investigation and Notification Programme (IIAN), an AI-based application to be used in investigating accidents. The UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021 is to foster the development of blockchain to improve its governance and the quality of life. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy aims to make Dubai the first government in the world to apply all transactions through this network by 2020.


February 2019

Mohammed Abdulla Ahli

In October last year, the GCAA hosted a workshop to explore the potential applications of blockchain in aviation. It highlighted the possible applications, along with best use cases, value propositions and adoption strategies. The GCAA announced that it is making efforts in providing blockchain solutions for the technology based-services in the future. In the first week of April, the UAE is hosting a conference on the use of blockchain technology in aviation. The first conference of its kind in the world, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Blockchain Aviation Summit and Exhibition in Abu Dhabi is themed Blockchain: Unlock the Potential and will to introduce and explore the innovations in blockchain technology that support sound, safe, secure and economically-viable civil aviation systems.

Inside DCAA

Year of Tolerance

Thrust on Tolerance


olerance ensures the existence of mixed communities in every region of the world, but the UAE stands out.

DCAA gets ISO 22301 accreditation


aving successfully met the requirements of compliance audits, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has been accredited for the ISO 22301:2012 Societal Security – Business Continuity Management Systems certification for the services provided by the Authority. His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of DCAA, received the certification from Lloyd’s Register EMEA in the presence of the executive directors and a number of department directors and section heads of the Authority. The Business Continuity Management Systems standard is based on a group of global systems’ standards that provide the minimum requirements necessary to ensure the continuity of operations and services provided by the Authority, and identifying its own special needs, thereby enhancing the operational efficiency of institutional work and reducing risks. “This achievement by DCAA is in line with its quest to implement best practices and the highest international standards in order to advance towards government excellence in all areas. Through this accreditation, we seek to achieve institutional excellence and continuous development” he said, commending the work team of the Authority for their efforts and success in the pursuit of excellence.

“Tolerance is acceptance – accepting and rejoicing differences,” remarked Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the world’s first Minister for Tolerance, who also happened to serve as the first woman minister of UAE earlier. The UAE is the only country in the world that has tolerance enshrined in the law. In July 2015, a federal decree was issued on Combating Discrimination and Hatred. Pope Francis’s visit to the UAE this month is a clear sign that the country remains welcoming and tolerant. Papal visit reflects the country’s freedom to believe and practice any religion. Pope Francis is the first pope to conduct a public mass in the Arabian Peninsula. In May 2014, Coptic Pope Tawadros II presided over the first mass in an Arab country at Saint Anthony’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi. He inaugurated the Church of the Virgin Mary in Sharjah. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted: “The Year of Tolerance will solidify the international role that the country plays as the capital of co-existence and meeting of civilisations. Tolerance is one of the tools of empowering civilisations and ensuring stability and flourishing of nations.” The UAE is joining as a global co-ordinator for cooperation within a new Global Tolerance Alliance to promote acceptance around the world. In September 2012, it was reported that three-quarters of the world’s human population of seven billion live under strong and serious “social hostilities” involving faith issues. Conducted by the American think-tank, Pew Research Centre in 197 countries and territories, it identified a sharp rise in religious limits globally.

February 2019


Inside DCAA

DCAA distributes HH’s Qissati book


is Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, has distributed copies of the latest book of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and

Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, among the employees. He stressed that the distribution of HH’s memoir, Qissati (My Story) comes within the framework of the Authority’s

keenness on supporting leadership visions and making use of their rich experiences that have contributed to reaching high standings and always achieve leadership. In the memoir, HH chronicles his 50 years of service to the UAE.

Education ministry delegation visits DCAA


delegation of officials from the Ministry of Education has visited the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) with the aim to explore, strengthen and develop all possible means of mutual cooperation between the two entities.

The delegation, headed by Her Excellency Dr Amena Al Dhahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Activities and Care Sector at the Ministry, was received by the DCAA officials - Mohammed Abdulla Lengawi, Executive

Director of Aviation Security and Accident Investigation Sector, Abdul Rahim Al Mulla, Executive Director of Corporate Support and Communication Sector, and Hamad Al Janahi, Director of Human Resources Department. During the meeting, a number of issues and future initiatives came up for discussion and were reviewed with a view to supporting science and knowledge in the service of the common objectives of the two sides. Through this meeting, the Authority seeks to disseminate and strengthen the culture of civil aviation across the education sector, which has significant importance to our future generations.


February 2019

Inside DCAA

DCAA-sponsored event creates world record H is Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, received a certificate from the Guinness World Records for a record the Emirate established.

Presented by Omar Talal, Regional Manager for Middle East & North Africa at Guinness World Records, the certificate recognizes the astonishing accomplishment achieved during the world parachuting event organised on the occasion of the 47th UAE National Day by Skydive Dubai and sponsored by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA). The Skydive Dubai team managed to break the world record for flying the largest flag when they

skydived carrying a UAE National Flag featuring the Year of Zayed and DCAA logos. This marked a new achievement for the UAE and a new world record for flying the largest national flag. The certificate presentation ceremony was attended by Mohammed Linjawi, Executive Director of Aviation Security and Accident Investigation Sector(representing the DCAA Director General), along with Khalid Al Aref, Executive Director of Aviation Safety and Environment Sector, and Saood Abdulaziz Kankazar, Executive Director of Air Transport and International Affairs Sector. The ceremony was also attended by Abdulla Al Habtoor, Vice President for Commercial and Business Management Affairs, Shamal Holding, and Abdullah

Mohammed Abdullah, Director General of Skydive Dubai. On this occasion, His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of DCAA, said: “We take immense pride in being part of this global achievement that undoubtedly contributes to our country’s standing as a leading hub for pioneering initiatives in the world. By breaking world records, our country has been able to showcase its achievements and successes at the global level and also our quest for leadership and excellence.” The Authority’s sponsoring such initiatives falls in the framework of its constant efforts to contribute and participate in events that add to the achievements of the UAE and keeping its flag high under able and dynamic leadership.

February 2019


DCAA Interview

Maryam Abdulhamid Bin Ali, Head of Customer Happiness Section, Finance Affairs & Administration Department, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA)

Our mission is to move up on the Happiness Meter


he Customer Happiness Section of DCAA sets the goal of achieving total happiness of the customers and move up on the Happiness Meter, thus enhancing the image of the UAE as a whole.

“Yes, we seek to make people happy, and making people happy will be our objective and mission until it becomes a permanent and deep-rooted reality.� These words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adorn the office of Maryam Abdulhamid Bin Ali, Head of Customer Happiness Section, Finance Affairs & Administration Department, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA). That essentially encapsulates the mission and work culture of the Customer Happiness Section. In an exclusive interview with Via Dubai, Maryam explained how her section is going to achieve the goal of total happiness of the customers, thus enhancing the image of Dubai and UAE as a whole. Excerpts:

Q: What is the significance of your section?

This is the first channel that all DCAA customers reach out for enquiries and information as customer enquiries are


February 2019

handled by the Customer Happiness section first. Our services are 100% online which means customers do not need to visit DCAA offices in order to apply for any service. If in case the customers are travelling or having an issue or doubt they can contact us for clarifications. At the end of every month we collect all the enquiries, study them and escalate the inquires to the concerned sections. Moreover we work with the concerned section to figure out how we can reduce these enquires although they are not complaints.

Q: What are the kinds of services offered to the customers?

DCAA provides customers and companies different types of aviation services such as Landing Permissions, No Objection Certificates and Drone Registration. As some of DCAA customers are from different countries they still can get their service by applying online. We usually get some enquiries to be

answered by the General Directorate of Residency And Foreigners Affairs Dubai, General Civil Aviation Authority, or other entities. In order to keep those callers happy we entertain their calls and emails and redirect them to the respective departments or provide them with the required contact details.

Q: How do reducing enquiries help the department?

For example, if many customers make enquiry on one particular service, we assume that there is no clarity in the information provided on the website. So we consider those enquiries as suggestions and area to be developed. We collect all these information, refer them to the concerned sections, sit with them to figure out how we can reduce these types of enquiries either by clarifying or adding more information or including the links to make it easy for the customers.

Q: What is the plan to manage these enquiries?

All DCAA enquiries are coming to one area. We have now centralised it. We at Customer Happiness Section are trying to answer as much inquires

DCAA Interview

as we can, however only technical in nature inquiries, are transferred to the concerned department. The transferring calls have now been reduced as customer happiness team gets more knowledge about DCAA services and manages to attend most of the inquires. Attending customers inquiries from different channels are controlled by Key Performance Indicators and targets that we are seeking to reach. Monthly reports are presenting the actual level of customer happiness performance.

How far technology helped the department in addressing the issues?

Previously customers need to come to DCAA for submitting their papers in order to apply for the required service. Now they can just apply for whatever service they want and wherever they want. They can just apply, scan all documents, attach them and receive the approval online. However they can just check the dashboard if in case the customer would like to get his approved service again.

Q: What are new projects you are working on?

Our priority has always been how to increase the happiness of our customers with prompt service. Now, we are working on new projects to increase customers’ happiness level. Most of them are electronic or smart applications and to have Artificial Intelligence (AI), which we are planning to introduce in 2020. In order to respond to questions without delay, we will introduce chat and call operator facilities. In fact we are collecting all the questions and suggestions, and using big data or Artificial

Intelligence to predict future enquiries and provide information accordingly.

Q: What has been the experience so far?

In 2018 Customer Happiness Section has received more than 10,100 enquiries. On the chat system we received more than 2,900 enquiries, over 3,960 calls and 2,900 emails and beyond 300 inquires through direct contact. Of all the enquiries we received in 2017, 11% were complaints. This we targeted to bring to less than 9% in 2018, but in fact it came down to 5%. The reduction in customer complaints came after studying the complaints and work on improving the customers complaints. It is fine with us if we get some enquiries, but not complaints. We want to make it zero. Even these enquiries also, we want to reduce to the minimum. If customer is seeking more information all the time, we should improve our communication channels and make them more effective and clear to the customers.

Q: Are you planning to introduce any icon or character?

Yes, on the Artificial Intelligence, we will be having special character, but it is under studies now. It will be introduced in 2020. For now what we are doing is just developing the services itself and developing all the channels. The next step will be the AI with a character. Another system we are working on is to centralise all the information of the customers. For example, if a customer talked to us once through the phone, his number will always

Our pursuit is to provide all possible information to make our customers happy all the time because customer is at the centre of all our activities be in the system or he talked to us through the chat system his history is recorded, so all details will be saved in one particular system. This is one of the projects that enhance customer happiness.

Q: Now, what is your goal?

Our goal is to reduce the number of enquiries to the minimum which means the customers can have all the information they need from DCAA website. There should not be any need for them to contact us later. In 2018 DCAA got the second position on the Happiness Meter System in the medium government sectors category. The system has been measuring the customer satisfaction and happiness levels. Now our goal is to be the number one on the Happiness Meter. Our pursuit is to provide all possible information to make our customers happy all the time because customer is at the centre of all our activities. If you are making them happy, the image of the organisation will be enhanced to bring in success. To be precise, we are not thinking of a single organisation, but the country and the Gulf region as a whole.

February 2019


Cover Story

Dubai Airports unveils new brand identity


heikh Mohammed attends the launch of the new brand that signifies Dubai Airports’ transition from airport operator to a consumer-led company committed to making the world’s busiest international airport the world’s best. Dubai Airports launched a new brand identity reflecting its goals of embracing new technology and new concepts to enhance customer experience. “Dubai’s development journey is acquiring a new momentum with creative ideas that are enriching the experiences it offers,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attending the launch of the new brand for Dubai International (DXB) that signifies Dubai Airports’


February 2019

transition from airport operator to a consumer-led company committed to making the world’s busiest international airport, the world’s best. New initiatives are further cementing its position as a leading global city that offers solutions to people’s needs in every field including the aviation sector. “Success is never a coincidence, it results from the hard work of people who strive to serve the people around them. Today, we have one of the best airports in the world that maintains

the highest levels of efficiency and service. We are proud that we provide passengers with exceptional experiences. Regardless of our accomplishments, our development journey never ends. We rely on our youth to generate fresh new ideas and initiatives in every sphere,” His Highness said. The launch of the new brand was also attended by H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Office of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed

Cover Story

bin Rashid Al Maktoum; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, as well as senior leaders in Dubai’s aviation industry, senior management of DXB, key industry stakeholders and global media. The new brand embodies the unique values of its home city, Dubai, demonstrating unmatched hospitality, a culture of vibrant imagination, openness to new ideas, and a mesmerising mosaic of exciting and inspiring experiences. It will transform DXB into a destination in itself by

creating exciting, immersive virtual experiences that bring iconic Dubai landmarks into the airport as well as an array of music, art, dance and even fashion exhibitions that showcase local culture and celebrate diversity. DXB will also feature zones throughout the airport’s concourses that cluster together retail, F&B and themed attractions to cater to DXB’s diverse customer base. Sheikh Ahmed said: “In Dubai, we continuously strive to be at the forefront of the industry globally and to lead the way with unwavering ambition, innovation and timely

investment. Aviation, tourism and travel have been fundamental in Dubai’s growth story and we believe this investment will yield further dividends by encouraging repeat traffic and enticing connecting passengers to visit Dubai. We recently welcomed our billionth customer at DXB, which was a remarkable milestone. Today we are making a clear statement that will ensure DXB continues to be one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking airports for years to come.” Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, said: “We are proud to launch the new DXB brand to reflect the fresh direction and truly transform DXB into the airport of the future, one that is led by a more customercentric approach, that incorporates the hospitality, excitement, warmth and true spirit of Dubai. The new brand represents the ways in which we connect the world, not only by physically facilitating access to over 220 destinations around the world, but by transporting our customers through their experience of different cultures, food, music and art. This is what DXB, Dubai and the UAE are all about - and what our new brand will represent moving forward.”

February 2019


UAE in Focus

Flying Higher W

ith over 89.1 million passengers in 2018, Dubai International Airport has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers for the fifth consecutive year

A successful airport business involves several factors like airline route planning, passenger flows and the health of global economy. Passengers determine the success or failure of the airport business. They decide where they fly and through which airport for a smooth journey. Research shows the stopover airport is also a deciding factor in ticket purchases. Handling passenger


February 2019

flow smoothly and efficiently is key to the success of an airport and its image. According to a guide to airport performance, developed by Oliver Wyman for Airports Council International (ACI), Safety and Security, Service Quality and Productivity/Efficiency are the key factors that drive the best benchmarking results. Measuring

airport performance is one key to successful and efficient management of airports. An Airport Governance Study says airport success is measured in multiple ways with the passenger growth being the primary measure. The secondary measures include customer-friendly facilities and services, geographic location that enables it to serve as the hub and terminal infrastructure to handle the

UAE in Focus

volume of flights and to permit the efficient transfer of passengers from one flight to another. Each airport has a different combination of strengths and weaknesses with regard to these factors. To attain world-class standing, an airport has to have inimitable qualities, the characteristics that cater to memorable passenger journeys, from favourable first impressions to experiences that engage from landside to airside. It has to ensure stress-free, seamless and engaging environment. Dubai International has successfully developed over the years an amazing bouquet of facilities and services that helps it stand out in the competitive landscape. Its shiny terminals of steel and glass have boosted both airline

and passenger expectations of what airport can – and should- be. A measure of Dubai International Airport’s global success is its ranking as the world’s top airport for international passengers, a distinction it took in 2014 from London Heathrow which held it for two decades. That was when a total of 68.9 million passengers passed through Dubai airport compared with 67.8 million at Heathrow about a week before the end of that year which saw the total number of passengers touching 70.4 million mark. The rise in passenger numbers came despite the curtailment of aircraft movements by 26 per cent due to the biggest runway refurbishment and programme over 80 days in the summer of 2014.

That historic milestone was the culmination of over five decades of double-digit average growth. Dubai has successfully kept the title with it for the fifth consecutive year, with the Airports Council International (ACI) figures confirming it in January 2019. Remarked 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: “Dubai International has been consolidating its global standing as a most-preferred travel hub given its extensive and efficient aviation infrastructure. This is largely due to the government’s unfaltering commitment to aviation infrastructure development.” Dubai International Airport welcomed over 89.1 million passengers in 2018, up from about 88.2 million passengers in 2017. According to Dubai Airports, DXB retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year. Aside from record traffic numbers, DXB enjoyed a banner year for customer service with shorter wait times. A total of 89,149,387 were served in the full year of 2018, up by one per cent over the previous year. The eight-million customer mark was breached twice during the year in July (8.2 million) and August (8.4 million) making the latter the busiest month in DXB’s 58-year history. India continued to hold to its position as DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the year reaching 12,279,485 – propelled mainly by top city destinations Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 6,471,142 customers, followed closely by the UK with 6,284,771 customers.

February 2019


UAE in Focus

UAE rebuffs Open Skies talks with the EU


he UAE has made a last-minute U-turn on its intent to enter into talks with Brussels on concluding an EU-level Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA), claiming the European Commission’s draft text proposal lacked ambition and failed to offer more market access than what currently exits through the bilateral air transport agreements between the UAE and EU member-countries.

In a letter to EU Transport Commissioner, Violate Bulc, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Sultan bin Saaed Al Mansoori, said the potential EU-UAE open skies would need to “provide for full and immediate liberalization going beyond what already exists—specifically including full and immediate liberalization of third-, fourth-, and fifth-freedom traffic rights.”

EK operated 192,000 flights in 2018


mirates, the world’s largest international airline, delivered another year of trendsetting product and service initiatives across its fleet and network to make ‘flying better’ for its customers.

In the last twelve months, Emirates carried over 59 million passengers on over 3,700 passenger flights on average per week. The airline proudly served a diverse menu of over 66 million meals on its flights departing Dubai, and moved close to 36 million pieces of baggage in Dubai to its global network of 157 destinations.

Etihad to deploy Dreamliner on Hong Kong route


tihad Airways will add the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Service on its Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong route from March.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline flies daily to Hong Kong and the new aircraft model will replace the existing Airbus A330-200 aircraft that currently services the route from March 30. Featuring next-generation Business and Economy class cabins, the aircraft is configured with 299 seats – 28 business studios and 271 economy smart seats – a capacity increase of six seats in Business and 31 in Economy in each direction, plus an increase in belly-hold cargo capacity of four tonnes. Cabins also have improved in-flight connectivity and decor inspired by contemporary Arabian design.


February 2019

In 2018, Emirates operated over 192,000 flights, with its fleet of 274 aircraft travelling more than 908 million kilometres around the globe. The year began with Emirates setting out on a US$150 million programme to refurbish its Boeing 777-200LR fleet. These 10 newly refurbished aircraft are set in a two-class configuration offering 38 Business Class seats with wider seats laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration, and 264 seats in Economy Class. The revamp also brought airier and more spacious cabins throughout the aircraft.

UAE in Focus

EK flight changes due to Dubai airport runway closure


DDF expects little change in turnover volume in 2019


he Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has estimated airport sales in 2019 to remain little changed from last year as airlines reduce flights they operate when one of two runways at Dubai International Airport closes for 45 days for upgrades beginning April. The Dubai airport retail operator is on track to ring in US$2 billion in sales in 2018, driven by spending from Chinese travellers on branded watches and cosmetics, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, told The National. Last year, perfumes were the biggest-selling product, accounting for a third of revenues, followed by liquor with 10 per cent and tobacco and cigarettes at 10 per cent.

mirates has announced adjustments to its operational schedules in 2019 to minimize the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway, and to respond to global travel demand trends. The airline also outlined its fleet plans for the year. A significant number of scheduled Emirates flights will be impacted by the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway for maintenance work between April 16 and May 30. Given the limitations around operating flights using a single runway at its hub, many Emirates flights will be cancelled, re-timed or have the operating aircraft changed in order to reduce impact on customers. This will result in up to 48 Emirates aircraft not being utilized, with a 25 per cent reduction in the overall number of flights operated by the airline during the 45-day period. Emirates will deploy additional flights to several markets in Africa starting in June 2019. Emirates will operate a second daily flight starting 01 June 2019 to Casablanca.

UAE’s aviation investments total US$272 billion


he UAE aviation sector is experiencing rapid growth, propelled by the growing middle class and low airfares, as well as investments, estimated to total US$$272.2 billion. The investment includes improvements to airport infrastructure and a fleet of 884 commercial aircraft, said a report by the official news agency, WAM, citing Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

According to the report, the authority is currently re-planning internal routes to extend to neighbouring countries, with the aim of increasing airspace capacity, as well as to introduce a new navigation management system by 2020, in order to meet the expected demands of air navigation in 2020 and beyond, achieve environmental efficiency, and generate annual financial savings of over US$13.6 million for airline companies.

February 2019


ADP IngĂŠnierie

Airport engineering helping air traffic’s impact on climate


oung Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been in the limelight ever since began utilizing global forms and gatherings of global elite like the World Economic Forum (WEF) to call for quick and bold progress on climate change.

The world has been captivated by the story of Greta Thunberg, who dropped out of school to make politicians accountable for their actions on climate issues. Her speech in front of the COP24 assembly stroke hard on the governments as she blamed them for their inaction on climate issues and their lack of commitment for the future of the children and the planet. COP24, held in Poland in December 2018, was the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate


February 2019

Change (UNFCCC). Climate is a core preoccupation, now more than ever. Air traffic is a heavy contributor to the carbon footprint and it must act

upon this impact on the environment. With the huge investments airports constantly face, it is tempting to wait for a problem to appear and correct it

ADP Ingénierie

as Band-Aids on a wound. Short term solutions, which seem cost-efficient in the moment, are not and don’t solve any issue in the long run, especially not for the future generations. Building a sustainable airport or turning former infrastructures into “environmental-friendly” platforms are questions that must be answered with no less than a holistic approach. Infrastructures such as airports cannot be managed without a longterm thinking and a strategic planning that must engrave sustainability in its DNA, for climate but also for economic and social growth. More than just an issue that must be included in the long list of investments to be done, sustainability must be considered as a real philosophy on its own. Operators are not preparing the airport of tomorrow, they are preparing the sustainable airport of tomorrow. And it changes everything. Besides, adopting a philosophy of sustainability for airport infrastructures may not be as costly

as it sounds, it may even bring fast positive results in no time.

from scratch on the matter and all are showing commitment to this cause.

This new way of thinking is already applied on a certain number of airport projects and translate the will to subscribe to a sustainable approach for the future. No airport is starting

Gatwick Airport developed an important programme of community investment embracing their role inside the community and creating a real connection with people. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a funding programme to accompany eligible airports on their way to sustainability. The new Daxing Airport Terminal Building designed by ADP Ingénierie and Zaha Hadid Architects has been thought with this philosophy of sustainability and a human-friendly approach first. Airport engineering is already taking this environmental action into account while designing airport facilities or working on optimizing airport operations and how they will impact on the airport of tomorrow. These are questions that are answered with anticipation and with innovative solutions. So the airports don’t face it alone!

February 2019


Special Interview

Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Golf

On course to make Dubai the golf destination of the World


n an exclusive interview with ViaDubai, Dubai Golf Chief Executive Officer Christopher May elaborated Dubai Golf’s plan to attract more golfers to Dubai and thus give a boost to the local economy.

Excerpts from the interview:

To what extent has the golf industry helped Dubai to attract tourists and boost the hospitality industry?

Golf is very important in the growth of Dubai like many other factors. One single factor, probably the most important, is Emirates Airline and the great leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Golf has been one of the first attractions that provided the local residents with the pastime in sports, but very quickly when the golf course was built and the Dubai Desert Classic was held, it promoted Dubai to a world television audience. Dubai is now home to twelve courses spread across ten clubs. The Dubai Desert Classic tournament, first held in 1989, was really important in showing Dubai as a golfing destination. It was the first time that European


February 2019

Tour played outside Europe and the first time a lot of people have seen Dubai on TV. We have now hosted 30 Dubai Desert Classics, mostly at Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek. Now we have many golf tournaments including the Race to Dubai season closer, the DP World Tour Championship, now in its tenth year at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

What are your plans to attract more people to golf?

We have around 10,000 active golfers in the UAE, who are primarily members of the Emirates Golf Federation, who do a great job in popularising golf across both Emirati and expatriate schools. We created some fantastic talents in Dubai over the years, a standout being Rehan Thomas who started his golf at Dubai Creek and recently competed in the Dubai Desert Classic and the Saudi International and European Tour. He is currently ranked 20th in the World Amateur

Rankings. It is truly a fantastic achievement.

The concept of Topgolf will be a game changing event for the golf industry. What are the initiatives?

In order to keep all the golf courses busy we need to encourage more golfers to take up the game. One of the new initiatives we are introducing is the Topgolf facility which we are currently building at Emirates Golf Club. The concept was originally started in the UK and subsequently expanded to the US, where there are now 41 golf facilities. Internationally, Topgolf is present in Australia, and we are the second venue outside the US and UK. Topgolf is a driving range concept with music, entertainment, along with a host of food and beverage options. It’s something that will attract nongolfers and therefore, we see TopGolf as something that will be a gamechanger for the golf industry in Dubai.

Special Interview

What is the progress of the Topgolf project?

We plan to launch the Topgolf project in February 2020, to coincide with the Expo 2020. Topgolf is going to be the biggest thing we will do in 2020. The golf tournaments, Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the DP World Tour Championship tournaments will celebrate Expo 2020, which will bring real focus on this region and bring huge number of visitors.

How does golf help economic growth, the realty market in particular, in Dubai? Most of the golf courses in Dubai are built with residential communities around them. Having a golf course enables the master developer to charge a premium on the real estate. Now Dubai has very significant residential golfing community.

What is your strategy to attract the world’s best?

The golf courses themselves in Dubai have always right from the beginning maintained worldclass standards. Whether you are member, visitor or a visiting tournament player, the conditions you are playing in are normally fantastic. The conditions of the golf courses are brilliant and they attract the very best players in the world. If you look at the history of the Dubai Desert Classic all of the best players in the world have competed in that event, and many of the best players in the world won there. They really helped to enhance the reputation of Dubai.

Is there any plan to have an institution to train people in recreation management and sports science? Yes, we do. We have partnered four years ago with the Club Managers Association of Europe. We have

Dubai has a very significant residential golfing community an agreement with Club Managers Association of America, a 90-year old organisation that set up educational programme for club managers in America. It’s now the biggest club management organisation in the world. The Club Managers Association of Europe is allowed to use their educational platform and we have hosted programmes in Dubai for the past four years run their educational program. In May this year, for the first time, we will be hosting management development programme levels 1, 2 and 3 simultaneously, which has never been done anywhere in the world. We are expecting to have around 60 delegates here in Dubai from around the World.

February 2019


Special Report

Blockchain Boom

Dubai is working to become the world’s first blockchain-powered city by 2020


oised to change the world in the same way as the printing press, combustion engine and the internet had, no other technology has been the subject of fervent global debate than the blockchain.

Dubai has been an early adopter of new and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain. The UAE now has a dedicated Minister for Artificial Intelligence – a world’s first. Smart Dubai has to its credit a-firstof-its-kind, The Dubai AI Roadmap. Th Smart Dubai Office has identified and piloted the use cases of the most applicable government services on blockchain. It is building a shared blockchain platform to be used by both government entities and the private sector (Blockchain-as-a-Service BaaS). His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced a strategy for the country to use blockchain for half of government transactions by 2021. The plan follows a similar commitment from the Dubai government to use the digital ledger technology for all government documents by 2020. The adoption of blockchain, he says, would help the government prepare for future challenges, save US$2.99 billion spent annually to provide and document transactions and documents, free up 77 million hours of work, reduce government documents by 389 million and save 1.6 billion kilometres spent driving.


February 2019

Dubai intends to migrate entirely into blockchain powered digital transactions by the year 2020 and is expected to save at least AED5.5 billion annually in document processing activity alone. Since early 2016, blockchain technology began developing quickly in the UAE. In February 2016, Dubai Future Foundation announced the launch of Global Blockchain Council. Three months later the technology giant IBM began conducting blockchain pilot projects around health records, diamond trade, title transfer, business registration, digital wills, tourist engagement and logistics. The year 2018 saw the start of real implementation of blockchain projects at the Dubai Lands Department, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai), among others. The Department of Economic Development (DED) has shifted its entire business registration and licensing system to blockchain. The Dubai Future Accelerator and the GDRFA have called out blockchain start-ups to develop the immigration platform to reduce illegal resident entry by 50 per cent using the distributed ledger. A project to create digital

passports for quick and efficient entry at the Dubai International airport is in the works. The GDRFA-Dubai seeks to create the world’s first ‘gateless border’ through the use of the blockchain and biometric technology. Dubai is working towards becoming the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020. It will have 100 per cent of applicable government services and transactions happen on the blockchain. The blockchain economy is witnessing a rapid growth with an expected market value of US$290 billion in 2019. The Middle East blockchain spending is expected to reach US$307 million by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate of 77.4 per cent in the 2016-2021 period. The civil aviation industry is projected to

Special Report


he UAE, in cooperation with the ICAO, is hosting a conference on the use of blockchain technology in aviation The conference will be held for the first time in the world. The ICAO Blockchain Aviation Summit and Exhibition will be held in Abu Dhabi from April 2 to 4, with the theme Blockchain: Unlock the Potential. Hosted by the General Civil Aviation Authorities (GCAA), the event will explore the innovations in blockchain technology that support sound, safe, secure and economically-viable civil aviation systems.

immensely benefit from technologies such as AI and blockchain. According to an Accenture report, more than 85 per cent of aerospace and defence companies are preparing to use blockchain in their businesses by 2021. Aviation sector has the third highest level of expected blockchain adoption across the 18 industries polled, coming marginally behind the semiconductor and health payment industries. Due to its capability of being decentralized, blockchain’s feature of storing information on a digital ledger makes it popular among airline companies. This shared ledger can be utilized by the MRO teams and OEMs for storing flight records, maintenance statuses, and other data. Meaning that blockchain can store all the information relating to any modification, repair or

change in an airplane. The blockchain technology can also be applied to other use cases as well including Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), flight entertainment, passenger compensations and planning. The Blockchain in Aviation whitepaper, published by International Air Transport Association (IATA) in October 2018, outlined the results of its research and development activities on blockchain in collaboration with airlines and the wider value chain. It highlighted the travel industry’s non-exhaustive blockchain initiatives. Dnata’s cargo operations has created a new value proposition for cargo service delivery through the use of blockchain technology. Emirates Airlines is experimenting with blockchain

The ICAO says the it has been designed to introduce the transformational commercial, communication and efficiency potentials of blockchain technology to the global aviation industry. Also, it will be a gathering of blockchain solution providers and business leaders seeking to use blockchain as an enabling technology in aviation. It also wants to foster a worldwide governance framework to accelerate adoption of blockchain technology in aviation and confront induced challenges in building safe, secure, resilient and efficient interfaces across the multidisciplinary civil aviation system and support new ICAO blockchain related initiatives. technology as a potential means of distribution in the future. The airline’s Chief Executive Sir Tim Clark says he saw many opportunities for the distributed ledger technology about three years ago but that now all industries, including airlines, are picking up the pace with using the technology.

February 2019


Middle East News

Three Gulf airlines likely to resume flights to Damascus


hree airlines of the UAE, Sultanate of Oman and Bahrain are preparing to resume direct air traffic with the Syrian capital of Damascus. Shafa al-Nouri, Director General of Syrian Air, which manages Damascus International Airport, said: “A delegation of Oman Air visited Damascus International Airport and inspected its technical condition as a preparation for the

ME aviation market to be flat in 2019


he Middle East will experience a flat aviation market in 2019, according to Robin Kamark, CCO at Etihad Aviation Group. In an opinion piece looking ahead to 2019, Kamark said he predicts significant slowdown in the sector due to high supply of capacity. “The regional market has been relatively flat and shrinking over the last couple of years. Next year, we predict a totally flat market in the region. This means you will not see the significant growth pattern enjoyed some years back,” he said. “There has been a lot of air traffic capacity pushed into this market in the past few years and there is a huge supply of capacity provided by all the main operators here,” he added.


February 2019

resumption of flights to the Syrian capital.” Shafa told the SANA news agency that the Bahrain’s Gulf Air and the UAE-based Etihad Airways have applied to the Syrian side with a similar proposal. Presently, flights to the UAE from Damascus are operated by Syrian Air and private Syrian airline Cham Wings. Syrian Air has also launched flights to Bahrain.

Swissport eyes 10% revenue growth in Middle East


viation services company Swiss port is targeting double-digit revenue growth in the Middle East during the 2019 financial year amid worries that escalating US-China trade tensions may stall its cargo volumes growth in the coming months. Lucius Wirth, executive vice president Europe Middle East and Africa at Swiss port, told The National: “Our revenue growth in the Middle East will be over 10 per cent year-on-year whereas in other mature markets, like Europe,

it will be in the range of only 2 to 3 per cent. “This region is a fast accelerator and contributing nearly 10 per cent in our global revenues…we will work to drive this contribution to higher levels in 2019.”

MEA signs 10-year distribution deal with Amadeus


he Middle East Airlines (MEA), the national carrier of Lebanon, has cemented a new partnership with Amadeus for distribution services that will see the airline’s content offered through the world’s largest and most diverse travel seller community. Through this partnership, MEA will be able to drive larger economies of scale,

increase technological efficiencies, and support their distribution strategy well into the future. With enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities, Amadeus’ travel seller network will enable MEA to better serve travelers and forge stronger ties with travel sellers.

February 2019



What’s next for aviation? The future starts now Invitation to the ACI AsiaPacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition Preparations are well under way for ACI’s largest event, the ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, taking place from 2–4 April 2019 in Hong Kong. Over the two-day conference, an expected 500 aviation leaders will explore: “What’s next for aviation? The future starts now.” In light of this year’s theme, it is fitting that the conference will be hosted by Hong Kong International Airport, home to one of the most important and ambitious runway projects of our time, and in the Region, which includes the Middle East, that has some of the world’s most dynamic cities and fastest growing economies. Top speakers and panelists will explore the future to foster a creative and innovating platform for the exchange of knowledge and the exploration of solutions to some of the most pressing issues of the field. Topics, delivered in various dynamic formats, will include: • Leaders’ forum; It’s all about capacity • A new era in aircraft operations; From urban air mobility and drones to supersonics • The customer experience revolution


February 2019

• The NEXTT (new experience in travel technologies) generation • Innovation in security; leveraging robust and agile screening solutions The formal conference is preceded by a series of workshops where more depth can be provided on key topics of environment, human resources, forecasting, cargo and slots. With contributions from aviation stakeholders from all regions, the Conference promises to define how airports are anticipating, adapting and creating change so that they can continue to be economic and social engines, connecting people, culture and commerce. The world’s airports are complex businesses that will design a way forward amidst an ever-evolving landscape. Our upcoming events will support the dedication and commitment of our members to thrive in a changing environment to deliver a safe, secure, and sustainable airport system. We look forward to seeing you.

Angela Gittens Director General Airports World International (ACI World)


In ‘airports of the future,’ everything new is old again A

s massive new airports open across Asia and the Middle East, US airports are enhancing security checkpoints with technological gadgets to screen passengers and luggage more quickly. All these projects are often touted as “airports of the future,” in which air travel will be faster, more efficient and more enjoyable than ever before. All these shiny improvements are still struggling to solve the problems that have vexed airport managers and passengers since at least the late 1950s. Even at the dawn of the jet age, airlines had trouble moving people and bags through airports – and they still do. It’s unclear that bigger airports serving ever more passengers will have an easier time than their smaller, less crowded predecessors. When commercial jet airliners came to the US in the late 1950s, they were larger and faster than previous planes, needing longer runways and more space to park and manoeuvre on the tarmac. They carried more passengers, which meant boarding gates had to be bigger.

from ticketing to their gates. Those approaches did reduce the number of steps passengers had to take. But as terminals grew in size and airline routes became more complex, passengers had to change planes more often. That has required trains or trams to help people travel longer distances within terminals, or even to other concourses. Checked luggage has to travel farther, too.

Janet Bednarek Professor of History University of Dayton United States

After decades of attempts, the best way to ensure you and your bags arrive at the same place at the same time is carrying them on the plane yourself. Of course, that means you have to drag heavier bags even farther through sprawling airports. As more people fly more often, the pace of growth and unexpected events have often overwhelmed the best intended designs and plans. After more than 60 years of trying, it’s an open question whether the ultimate airport of the future – one where passengers and their bags move quickly through a space that’s enjoyable to be in – could ever exist at all.

This led to the now-familiar design called “pier-finger terminals,” with a main terminal screening passengers and collecting checked luggage, beyond which lay long stretches of boarding gates, spaced far enough apart for planes to fit side by side. Atlanta, Chicago and Miami airports all were criticized for making passengers walk nearly half a mile

February February 2019 2019

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FAA testing new UTM


he US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is undertaking a research initiative with partners including Harris Corporation, the University of North Dakota and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to explore the implementation and operation of unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems in the National Airspace System. The Northern Plains site in Grand Forks, North Dakota, is the same one that has hosted testing of large commercial drone beyondvisual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations by companies such as General Atomics, with help from Grand Forks Air Force Base. The site is also a participant in the Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program and helping NASA and Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) test UTM technology.

NASA to use blockchain technology for ATM


he US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is planning to advance its technology by adding Blockchain to secure air traffic services and support. The agency will work with an open source Blockchain platform called “Hyperledger Fabric” that is specifically designed for enterprise transactions that resemble typical air traffic management interactions.

prototype that embodies a design and method that may be applied to mitigate security issues. The new framework also features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorised member. The prototype demonstrates how this method can be economically and rapidly deployed in a scalable modular environment.

The FAA’s testing is initially focused on Part 107 UAS operating under 400 feet, though he acknowledged the need to later expand to higher altitudes and larger UAS.

Blockchain would address the potential issues of privacy, prevent spoofing, denial of service and other attacks. Blockchain presents an engineering

The FAA has been very focused on UTM over the last year, trying to both contend with the risks of small UAS mucking up normal flight operations, potentially grounding flights and introducing unexpected complications, as well as finding a way to integrate the coming wave of commercial unmanned package-delivery, urban air mobility and and other largely low-flying unmanned traffic into an already busy airspace.

India to issue fresh licences to air traffic controllers


February 2019


he Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will issue fresh licences to air traffic controllers by March. Based on the ICAO audit, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had assigned the task of licensing ATCOs to the DGCA, according to Times of India. At present, licensing, certification of ATCOs are done by the AAI, which handles the

The new system Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) will be implemented in 2020.

air navigation services. Following several rounds of discussions and arguments with the ICAO over eight months, which led to India’s safety audit score falling to 57.44 per cent from previous 65.82 per cent, the authorities agreed to the UN agency’s key demand of having the DGCA regulate air traffic controllers.


JANS to install ATC information display system information display system. JANS and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau have inked a deal with NEC enabling the upgrade of current ATC information display systems over a period of time.


he Japanese Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) has signed a contract with NEC Corporation for the manufacturing of the Total Information Display Unit (TDU)-14 type ATC

Philippines to shift to new ATM system


he Philippines has started the complete transition to a new air traffic management (ATM) system. Officials at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the new system will help improve ASEAN connectivity, enhance aviation safety, optimize Philippine airspace, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and promote greener skies. The CAAP spokesperson told Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system will enhance the safety and efficiency of air traffic, therefore enabling a more definite aircraft identification and better airspace management. The Manila and Clark airspace radar approach control service were successfully transferred to the new ATMC.

The contract is for the delivery of the equipment for six Terminal Radar facilities, nine Airport Tower Control facilities, and five FSC Flight Service Centres (FSC). According to International Airport Review, The ATC information display system is a safe and efficient system

supporting critical control operations and providing information such as weather, VFR information, NOTAM, and other essential information for ATC operations to air traffic controllers located at Air Traffic Management Centres (ATMC), Area Control Centres (ACC), Terminal Radar facilities, Airport Tower Control facilities and Flight Service Centres. The ANSP currently adopts two types of ATC information display systems, the Terminal Data Display Unit and the En-route Data Processing Unit.

New Zealand sets up ATC academy in Kuwait


irways New Zealand has partnered with the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) to establish an air traffic control (ATC) training academy for Kuwaiti students.

As part of the joint venture partnership agreement, Airways is providing a one-year training programme at ACK for a group of air traffic control (ATC) students, and has installed a total control tower simulator and two radar simulators at its campus in Kuwait for use during training. The bespoke training solution incorporates Airways’ world-class simulation technology, blended with competency-based training and e-learning. A group of ATC students began training at the new academy in September 2018. The Airways training programme will prepare the students for on-the-job ATC training in Kuwait. The total control radar and tower

simulators were installed in Kuwait in May 2018, and are being used by students and instructors to control traffic in exercises that mimic the real world – imitating a full air traffic control flight information region using high fidelity photo-realistic graphics, and simulating any weather conditions. Airways has been delivering ATC training solutions and consultancy services to the Middle East region for more than 20 years The organisation has worked with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia for the past eight years, training air traffic control students at its training campuses in New Zealand, and is this year training students from Fujairah, Kuwait and Bahrain, according to International Airport Review.

February 2019



Alaska Airlines is hiring 3,000 people


laska Airlines will hire 3,000 people this year.

The Seattle-based airline said in a blog post that approximately threequarters of the new jobs will be based in Washington. Shortly after hiring its 10,000th employee in Washington, Alaska plans to rapidly expand its frontline positions.

The new openings will include positions as maintenance technicians, airport operations, customer service representatives, cargo specialists, flight attendants and pilots. Future employees will be hired by both Alaska and Horizon airlines.

The airline now contributes more than US$7 billion to the economy of Washington State.

The positions will be listed online and, for many, no previous airline experience is necessary.

United signs deal for 24 Boeing 737 Max


oeing has inked a deal to supply United Airlines with 24 737 Max aircraft and four 777-300ER jetliners. The agreement is worth up to US$4 billion at list price, depending on the variant of 737 Max the airline is taking, according to Simple Flying,

Copa Airlines is the world’s most punctual


ccording to the comprehensive OAG 2019 Punctuality League, Copa Airlines is the world’s most punctual airline.

Detailing the on-time performance (OTP) of 58 million flight records from January 1 to December 31 2018, the OAG ranked the top 20 airlines worldwide, the top 20 mainline airlines and the top 20 low-cost carriers (LCCs).

a website for frequent fliers and aviation geeks. Boeing racked up 893 net orders for commercial jets, with a total value of US$143.7 billion, in 2018, helped by a year-end surge of 203 orders in December. That topped the 747 net orders for archrival Airbus.

Lion Air declared the fastest growing airline


he world’s fastest growing airlines in 2018 were revealed, with a Thai low cost carrier coming out on top. The research, compiled by Routesonline, said Thai Lion Air had grown its seat capacity faster than any other airline in the world after increasing its fleet and adding new destinations to its network. To find the list of the top 100 major airlines, the route information provider used flight data from OAG to judge capacity for 2018 compared to 2017. All of the top 100 airlines had more than one million available seats every month during 2018, Routesonline said. Thai Lion Air – an associate company of Indonesia Lion Air, the airline responsible for last year’s worst air disaster – grew its capacity by 40.7 per cent in 2018, carrying more than 13.5 million passengers during the year.


February 2019

Cargo & Logistics

Emirates SkyCargo launches South American air freight service


mirates SkyCargo has opened a new trade lane to South America with the start of freighter services to Bogota, Colombia. The Colombian capital is served by a once weekly freighter service starting on January 16. Emirates SkyCargo operates a Boeing 777 freighter aircraft to Bogota with a cargo capacity of over 100 tonnes and has wide main deck doors allowing for the transportation of large and outsized cargo. Bogota became Emirates SkyCargo’s sixth cargo destination in South

America and its third dedicated cargo destination in the continent. Emirates SkyCargo is working jointly with Avianca for the freighter service out of Bogota.

European cargo growth slows in 2018


ajor European cargo airlines saw freight traffic growth slow in 2018 in line with the general market slowdown.

growth the industry had in 2017 was always going to be difficult to repeat, according to Air Cargo News.

Data from European airlines show that in 2018 both Air FranceKLM and Lufthansa saw their cargo volumes grow at lower levels than the previous year, while IAG registered a decline.

Lufthansa registered a 0.8 per cent increase in traffic last year to 10.9 billion revenue cargo tonne kilometres, which is down on the 7.4 per cent improvement it recorded in 2017, when the market enjoyed a resurgence thanks to inventory re-stocking and e-commerce growth.

The result shouldn’t be too surprising as the stellar year for

India unveils air cargo policy


ndia unveiled its muchawaited air cargo policy, which seeks to make the world’s second most populous country among the top five air freight markets by 2025, besides creating air transport shipment hubs at all major airports over the next six years. The policy document stated that the policy will encourage code sharing/inter-line agreements between foreign and Indian carriers. As per the policy, international cargo comprises 60 per cent of the total air cargo tonnes handled in the country, logging a growth of 15.6 per cent in the previous fiscal. The domestic cargo grew by over 8 per cent, which reflects the skewed modal mix, in which roads account for over 60 per cent of cargo transportation as compared to the global average of around 30 per cent, the Press Trust of India reported. Indian express industry is one of the fastest growing markets globally, but with a small share of about 2 per cent of the global market, grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent over the past five years. As per the document, the potential in the new markets needs to be explored with longterm infrastructure creation in order to sustain cargo growth in the next 10-15 years at least.

February 2019



Airline Group turns to blockchain to bypass distribution systems


here have been several new technologies, from the New Distribution Capability to direct-connect, and blockchain, that have at times shown promise in easing the grip of the global distribution systems. For the last 20 years, the incumbent distributors have always managed to exert or shore up their roles, according to Skift.

These are very early days, but the airlineowned Airlines Reporting Corp.’s new experimental blockchain, and others like it, could lead to efficiencies for corporate travellers, but also — importantly — distribution alternatives to bypassing the global distribution systems. A potential bypass of the distribution incumbents is not going to happen anytime soon. The death of global distribution systems such as Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport have been prematurely forecast for the last 20 years. They are an integral part of travel commerce on a global basis, online and offline, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon despite intermittent disruptions.

Etihad flies world’s first commercial flight using sustainable fuel


tihad Airways has operated the world’s first commercial flight using locally produced sustainable fuel on one of its Boeing 787 aircraft powered by GE’s GEnx-1B engines. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute that is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, worked on the project with Etihad Airways. The flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam marked a major milestone in the development of a clean, alternative aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions. The initiative also addresses food


February 2019

security in the UAE through the farming of seafood as a core element in the process. The SBRC partners have been working together to prove the concept of a comprehensive value chain that is centred around the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS).

Malaysia to have first fully LED monitored airport


taly-based OCEM has announced its involvement in a brand-new airport strategically located in Mukah which is Malaysia’s first fully monitored LED airport. The new airport will replace Mukah’s current airfield. Thanks to growing passenger traffic and aircraft movement, including the ATR 72 turboprop aircraft that is a key feature of Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary, MASWings, the government allocated €63 million for an entirely new airport. OCEM Airfield Technology is a leading global airfield lighting provider with a century of experience in the airfield industry.

NASA proposal for ATM blockchain based on HyperLedger


he United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed an air traffic management (ATM) blockchain. The proposed system would employ an open-source permissioned blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services. The document notes: The engineering prototype of the system reportedly employed the Hyperledger Fabric and demonstrated that such infrastructure could be rapidly deployed and economically maintained.


Spain’s tourism growth Indonesia sees Singapore slows as rivals recover as hub for inbound


pain saw growth in its crux tourism sector slow in 2018 as sun-soaked competitors like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia recovered. The sector ratcheted up US$162 billion in sales, two percent more than in 2017, according to industry lobby group Exceltur. But that growth was slower than in previous years. In 2017, it had increased by 4.5 percent and in 2016 by five percent. The government had stressed 2018 had been another record year in terms of foreign visitor numbers, which reached 82.6 million. Tourism represented 11.8 percent of its GDP last year, according to data.



ndonesia has identified Singapore as a tourism hub this year as it seeks to benefit from 7,200 flights a week from and through the island-state. The initiative is stated in the Tourism Ministry’s program as part of the effort to achieve the targeted 20 million tourist arrivals in 2019. The programme had been introduced after learning about the success of the Hot Deals tourism promotion in Riau Islands – Batam and Bintan, the closest Indonesian resorts to Singapore – which had sold 700,000 tourism packages within three months last year. Singapore was the main market for the Hot Deals promotion that offered

discounts of up to 60 percent from Monday to Thursday. This year, the target for the Hot Deals promotion drive is to sell one million tourism packages. Three tourism programs had elicited a positive response from Singapore: making the country a hub for Indonesian tourism, jointly promoting the idea of cruise ships visiting Indonesia and investing in one of Indonesia’s 10 prioritized tourist destinations branded as the New Balis.

New York City’s record tourism streak


record-breaking 65.2 million visitors came to New York City last year, according to the New York Times.

visitors outside the US, the biggest numbers of tourists from Great Britain (1.24 million) and China (1.1 million).

Most of those folks came from other parts of the US, but in terms of

That number is a jump from the 62.8 million tourists who came to the

city in 2017, and is part of a larger pattern of growth—this is the ninth straight year that the city’s tourism numbers have gone up. Out-oftowners spent US$44 billion in New York City last year. Tourism officials estimates that as many as 67 million out-of-towners will come to the city in 2019. Home to 86 lakh people, New York City comprises five boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park.

February 2019


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