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Airspace capacity is an emerging issue in the region as current constraints limit capacity and force inefficient routings. The route structure does not currently make use of the advanced navigation capability of modern airline fleets. In addition, civil and military airspace sharing agreements are needed to better balance airspace distribution. Adding urgency to the situation is the fact that Middle Eastern countries plan to spend an estimated $200 billion on new aircraft in the next 15 years and some $100 billion in infrastructure to meet demand*.
“Considering the hundreds of billions being spent on airport infrastructure and aircraft in the region, governments would be well served to protect these investments by collaborating closely on air traffic management,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Any initiative that frees up airspace should receive high priority as it would cut flight times, save fuel and emissions, boost trade and tourism and drive economic growth.”
Dubai Airports has a number of facility expansion projects underway to accommodate the anticipated passenger traffic growth including the world’s first dedicated A380 facility Concourse 3 due to open at the end of 2012 and the further expansion of the new Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International.
“We are increasing runway capacity and implementing systems to accommodate growth whilst delivering tangible environmental benefits,” added Griffiths. “While we can manage runway projects at a local level, our airspace cannot be considered in isolation. We are involved at both national and regional levels on initiatives designed to open up air routes, reduce bottlenecks and unlock latent airspace capacity. We’re optimistic the UAE Declaration will help speed up this process.”
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