With spirits sky high about multi-billion dollar airports expansion programme, the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are increasingly exploring the airport leadership challenges and capacity building in their endeavor to solidify the region’s position on the global aviation map.
Several airports, facing challenging times and tougher competition, are looking at fundamentally changing the way they do business and breed new leaders as they prepare for a massive growth cycle.
The massive increase in volume of passengers will enhance challenges for airport leaders as they strive to focus on quality of services in every aspect of airport operations. These issues will be discussed and debated by aviation experts at the 13th edition of the Airport Show and the debut Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF).
Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation, said: “There remains a shortage in professional manpower because of the pace of development that we are witnessing, and we are filling these positions with foreign expertise. Nonetheless, I believe the region has a sufficient number of aviation professionals to fill top-level positions, although I am not sure how long we will be able to sustain this given the rapid growth and development of the aviation sector.”
He said the UAE has done remarkably well in creating more opportunities for UAE nationals to be employed in the aviation sector. The strong growth of Emirates Airline, for instance, resulted in widespread recruitment of Emiratis across different disciplines.
The aviation sector, which now accounts for around 28% of the national GDP, will certainly have a huge impact in driving the Emiratisation programme. The aviation leadership in the UAE has been very progressive, very open minded and really rising up to the challenge.