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Thu 12 Nov 2009 06:18 AM

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Dubai eyes plan to centralise GCC air traffic control

Committee set up to investigate options in effort to ease air traffic problems in region.

Dubai is looking at the option of centralising air traffic control in the Gulf region in a bid to reduce congestion, an industry leader has announced.

HE Mohammed Abdullah Ahli, director general of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed that a committee had been set up to investigate ongoing problems in the region’s aerospace sector. One possible option is to develop a centralised air traffic control agency, similar to that in Europe.

“We have a committee working to solve the problems within the UAE first and then we are negotiating with neighbouring GCC countries to have maybe five aerospace controls,” he said.

He also added that studies had shown that there were many new airways that could be opened up which could help to ease air traffic in the region.

However, in order to achieve these goals he believes it was important that there was communications between the various aviation authorities in the region to address the issues.

“We have started and will reach a good agreement to solve the problems of aerospace in the Arab world. We will start with the UAE, then the GCC and then we will to the other Arab countries,” he stated.

He added that the issue was particularly important in Dubai as Dubai International Airport currently accounts for nearly three quarters of air traffic in the UAE.

Separately, the UAE government is developing a new licensing regime to regulate foreign passenger and airfreight airlines.

The new licensing law will be implemented next year and will be followed by the publication of a blacklist of airlines that are banned from using the country’s aviation services, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, told Emirates Business.

Al Suwaidi said 30 operators were banned from operating in the country and more would be outlawed in future if they failed to comply with regulations and standards.

He added that the new measures are being adopted following the growing number of air accidents around the world, including a  

Last month a Boeing 707 operated by Azza Transport crashed at Sharjah International Airport killing six people.

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