Future airports in spotlight at Dubai aviation show
Dubai, June 2, 2008
The ongoing aviation boom in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, and the opportunities and challenges that the region’s future airports present were highlighted today (Monday) when the aviation industry’s regional showcase event opened in Dubai.
Attracting a record assembly of 600 suppliers from 40 countries, and over 100 civil aviation authorities and airports, the eighth Airport Show was officially opened by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.
Sheikh Ahmed was accompanied by Laith Kubba and Nick Webb, directors of Streamline Marketing Group, as he cut the ribbon to officially inaugurate the show, which is the largest airport construction, operations, technology and services exhibition to be staged anywhere in the world this year.
He then toured the main exhibition hall, talking with representatives from the world’s leading airport supply and construction companies.
Growth in the region’s aviation sector and increasing air passenger traffic showed no sign of slowing. The International Air Transport Association has estimated the average rate of growth in passengers carried at 6.8 per cent per annum in the Middle East until 2011.
Airbus predicts that Middle East passenger traffic will grow at 7.1 per cent per annum until 2015, compared to a global average of 5.3 per cent.
Expansion works at Dubai International Airport worth $4.5 billion, including a third terminal and two new concourses will enable the airport to handle up to 70 million passengers annually.
The Abu Dhabi International Airport expansions will increase the airport’s capacity to 40 million passengers per annum.
The new $10 billion Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport will have two mega terminals, six runways and six concourses when complete, and a capacity of more than 120 million passengers annually.
Qatar’s $5.5 billion Doha International Airport will have the capacity to handle 60 million passengers in 2020.
The rapid rate of airport development in the region and the projected increase in passenger and cargo traffic were among many issues to be addressed on the first day of the inaugural ‘Future Airports’ conference, running alongside the Airport Show at Airport Expo Dubai.
Featuring senior representatives from civil aviation authorities, airports, and build and supply companies, the Future Airports conference provides an important forum for aviation leaders from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa to share their vision of future airports and discuss pertinent issues surrounding rapid aviation growth in the region.
The Future Airports conference opened with a keynote session led by Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman, Dubai World Central, Inderjit Singh, senior vice president, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Andreas Schimm, director, economics and programme development, Airports Council International.
The session included an update on construction works at major airports in the region and how future airports will influence regional economic development.
This was followed by two sessions which addressed the environmental implications of future airports led by Dr Mark Watson, senior advisor, corporate environmental affairs at the Society of British Aerospace Companies and Dr Peter Marx, vice president of Environmental Management at Fragport AG.
Marc Noyelle, chairman ADPi provided an overview of best practice in airport infrastructure and operations, and Jeff Griffiths, executive vice president and CEO of Washington Consulting Group and Achim Baumann, regional manager of DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH discussed increasing congestion in Middle East skies and offered solutions for airspace management.
Returning for the second consecutive year, specialist conferences dedicated to air traffic<