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| 18 October, 2017

UAE to unveil largest airspace restructuring in ME

Passengers walk through the terminals at Dubai airport. Etihad Esco agreed a deal to refit terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, 25 October.

Passengers walk through the terminals at Dubai airport. Etihad Esco agreed a deal to refit terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, 25 October.

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Starting from December 7, the UAE will be able to manage its airspace more effectively and ease congestion at airports following the start of its airspace restructuring programme

Starting from December 7, the UAE will be able to manage its airspace more effectively and ease congestion at airports following the start of its airspace restructuring programme (ARP).

Claiming to be one of the largest airspace changes the region has ever seen, the UAE ARP will see the Emirates Flight Information Region (FIR) transformed into the world’s first airspace structure to be completely based on Performance Based Navigation (PBN) - navigation that uses global navigation satellite systems or GNSS and computerised on-board systems - with a Navigation Specification of RNAV-1(GNSS).

"The implementation of the UAE ARP will not only demonstrate our capability to safely meet the capacity requirements for the forecasted 2020 air traffic demand and beyond, but also the ability to deliver environmental efficiency and fuel savings exceeding $15 million to the airlines customers within the first year after implementation," said Saif Al Suwaidi, GCAA director general.

"These sustainable annual fuel savings further translate to around 100,000 metric tons of CO2, supporting a significant contribution towards the UAE’s Environmental Policy and responsibilities towards ‘Greener’ aviation," he said.

This restructuring is the culmination of years of extensive analysis, development and collaboration across the UAE Aviation Community to enable the evolution of teh UAE's air traffic management systems.  

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To achieve such results required extensive cooperation from the GCAA Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre, Dubai Air Navigation Services, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, Ras Al Khaimah Department of Civil Aviation, Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation, Fujairah Department of Civil Aviation as well as many more aviation stakeholders.

Ahmed Al Jallaf, the chairman of the Project Steering Group, said: “The project directly involved five of the seven Emirates within the UAE and to date has required over 120,000 dedicated man-hours to develop an airspace design network capable of managing the future requirements.

Multiple Fast-Time and Real-Time simulations in Italy, UK and in the UAE formed critical activities for the design validation and verification of the revised airspace network. The ARP also requires over 250 Air Traffic Controllers to take simulation and theoretical training, the redesign of over 200 Instrument Flight Procedures and incorporation of 30 new airways”.

In 2012, prior to the launch of the UAE ARP, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) - in collaboration with the local Departments of Civil Aviation and ANSPs - undertook a ‘UAE Airspace Study’ which identified a requirement to ‘develop a comprehensive airspace design that will accommodate transition to a full PBN airspace environment to support the increasing demand’.

 

Accordingly, the UAE ARP has adopted an industry wide collaborative approach, encompassing a three-phased project which kicked off in 2013. In July 2016, the ARP activated Phase 3, ‘Integration and Implementation’ and with the support of globally recognised consultants, ensured the successful transformation of the chosen conceptual designs into an intergrated implementable solution. The first iteration of design network due on December 7 will provide the airspace within the Emirates FIR sufficient capacity, capability and efficiency to support the forecasted traffic growth to 2020.  

The successful implementation of UAE ARP will future-proof the UAE’s airspace network for the forecasted traffic growth to 2040, including the major expansion projects for both Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion, as well as meeting the expected capacity of Dubai’s Expo 2020.

Moreover, it will ensure that aviation will continue to provide a vital contribution to the UAE GDP and the future growth of the Emirates as a whole. - TradeArabia News Service

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