By Shane McGinley
Dubai dominated, accounting for 45% of flights in and out of the country
Nearly 2,000 flights in the UAE took place every day in August, with almost half of the flights taking place to and from Dubai, according to data from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
GCAA announced on Sunday the number of air traffic movements in the UAE during the month of August reached 59,940, a year-on-year increase of 6.9 percent.
An average of 1934 air traffic movements took place per day, according to the latest Air Traffic Monthly Report.
Dubai took the top spot with 27,199 traffic movements, or around 45 percent of all flights in and out of the country.
Transit flights through UAE airspace accounted for 12,903 air traffic movements, while Abu Dhabi took the bronze with 8,919 air traffic movements.
Of the regional airports, Sharjah International Airport was the most active, with 5,320 movements, followed by Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (655), Fujairah International Airport (122), Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (291) and Al Ain Airport (139). Local flights between UAE airports accounted for 4392 movements.
The increased level of air traffic movements is a concern for authorities as the infrastructure in place strives to keep up with the boom in the country’s aviation sector.
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are some of the world’s largest buyers of new aircraft, but their fleet growth may be in doubt if Gulf states don’t funnel more cash into modernising air traffic systems and building airports.
“There will be areas of congestion,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of marketing, told Arabian Business.
“The real issue is will the governments be able to finish off these plans in a way that will accommodate the growth going forward. The plans are in place and the direction is going in the right way - but it is now time to deliver on those plans.’
Dubai International Airport, home to Emirates - the world’s largest carrier by international traffic - expects to be the world’s busiest airport by 2015 with some 75 million passengers a year.
US-based Raytheon, which claims a 60 percent share of the global air traffic management market, said cutting the time and space between take-offs and landings would boost efficiency.
“A big part of future capacity is not more runways [but] closer spacing,” said Andy Zogg, vice president of command and control systems.
There is “no question” more capital must be directed into this market, he said.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.