The link between the growth of aviation sector and the Middle East and North Africa’s economic growth cannot be ignored. Many of the national airlines regionally are preparing for expansive growth over the next decade and beyond, projected in the range of five percent or more annually. As a result the demands on the region’s air traffic management (ATM) system are mounting and changes to increase access and capacity are crucial to future growth of the regional industry.
Recognizing this increasing requirement, the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC) is signing a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Airbus Middle East and Airbus ProSky, part of “Services by Airbus,” to conduct a deep and formal study to better understand the current regional airspace challenges and to implement necessary planning and coordinate essential changes.
H.E Engineer Mohammed Sherif, Director General of ACAC stated “There have been significant changes in the global approach to ATM and aviation in the Middle East and North of Africa which is shifting in how Air Navigation Services are provided. There has been, and there continues to be, unprecedented rapid growth of aviation in parts of the region. This is straining ATM capabilities and spurring various localized efforts to increase planning and coordination.”
Fouad Attar, Managing Director of Airbus Middle East, stated “We are pleased to enter in cooperation with such an important regional organization and look forward to a close collaboration. We are confident that by covering one of the most challenging parts of the world in terms of air traffic growth and geopolitics, this airspace study will provide benefit to all of us, especially to our valuable customers.”
The ATM Study intends to develop both near-term requirements and longer term strategic needs to formulate a master plan for regional air navigation service provision right up to 2030. Included within will be a recommended systematic process to prioritise and balance investments aiming to optimize ATM for the Arab Middle East and Northern Africa area. The study will set out to and achieve the following:
· Improve airspace safety and efficiency
· Improve interoperability between ANSPs to foster seamless services across borders
· Increase airspace capacity to meet future demand requirements
· Increase access to airports
· Reduce environmental impact of increasing traffic by providing improved ATM operations