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Sat 4 Nov 2017 02:10 AM

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Sharjah says still to activate 79% of air traffic rights

Department of Civil Aviation chairman reveals huge growth potential for emirate's travel sector

Sharjah says still to activate 79% of air traffic rights

Sharjah has activated less than a quarter of its air traffic rights to 161 countries, according to the chairman of the emirate's Department of Civil Aviation.

Sheikh Khalid bin Issam Al Qassimi forecast "huge growth potential" for Sharjah's aviation industry as it looks to connect to more countries.

He told Oxford Business Group that the emirate was "well placed to help boost inbound tourism and support the emirate’s businesses".

“Sharjah has traffic rights to 161 countries. However, only 21 percent of them are currently being utilised,” he said. “This provides Sharjah's aviation sector with huge growth potential.”

The emirate’s new airspace structure, which will be implemented in early December, will also help to secure growth in the future, he added.

“The design will provide separate entry gateways, holding points and flight pathways into the UAE’s airports and allow for further growth,” Sheikh Khalid said, adding that the number of airspace gateways for Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be increased under the new design, which separates air traffic into the UAE’s airports. 

Sheikh Khalid also told OBG that Sharjah International Airport, is also aiming to improve security and safety. The airport is currently classified as a category II facility with plans to improve to category III.

“To achieve this, we are undertaking several projects, including the renovation of our air traffic control tower and the installation of improved lighting, navigational aids and ground movement radar,” he said.

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