The need for tens of thousands of more pilots in the UAE and educating policy makers and influencing higher authorities on the importance of aviation were highlighted as key actions at the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit 2015 held in Dubai on Sunday.
Industry experts from Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), aviation authorities, airlines and manufactures discussed ways of encouraging regional cooperation to deliver increased efficiency and capacity of the Middle East airspace.
John Swift, regional director, NATS said it was “interesting to hear ANSPs and airlines call for policy makers to recognise the contribution that aviation makes to national GDP and job creation”.
“It is important that governments address air traffic management (ATM) issues as a state level priority and not a niche transport subject,” he added.
Regional director from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Mohamed Khonji, stated that collaboration, cooperation and commitment is needed from all key stakeholders to tackle ATM issues affecting the region.
Panellists concurred on the positive impact the aviation sector has on the UAE and regional economy and highlighted that conomic growth from aviation will contribute $53 billion to the UAE economy by 2020, providing up to 750,000 jobs.
Jeff Johnson, VP international and Middle East president for Boeing, also asserted that for the next 20 years, the UAE is next to US and China for the largest aviation market growth and that the UAE will need more than 55,000 more pilots and 62,000 more technicians.
He also said that with such growth comes the need for the right infrastructure for airspace and ATM.