Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Middle East Aviation Boom Sets Context for Air Center Conference 2011 in Fujairah

The welcome speech by H. E. Mohamed Abdulla Sultan Al Salami, Chairman of Civil Aviation for the Government of Fujairah, was delivered by the Conference Chairman and General Manager of the Fujairah International Airport, Dr Khaled Almazroui.

The speech set the scene for a conference that was firmly set on promoting growth, change and innovation.

Here are the pertinent points made by the chairman:

Global Importance

Aviation is a very special industry. Almost $600 billion in revenues. We support 32 million jobs, facilitating the global village and $3.5 trillion in economic activity.

Effects of the Recession

For several years now, airlines and airports have been benefiting from robust demand for air travel in line with healthy global economic growth. Sadly, this pattern changed abruptly in 2008. Crippling high fuel prices and more recently a slowing global economy have proved extremely challenging for the aviation industry around the world.

Middle East Aviation Boom

Despite a worldwide slump, the aviation sector in Middle East region has boomed in contrast to the global trend. Thanks should go to the aviation community in the region for their support and endurance in navigating these difficult years.

The Middle East is growing. Over the last decade our carriers went from 5% of global passenger traffic to 11%.

Great Expectations

Planned purchases of $200 billion in aircraft over the next decade will continue to support growth. The region is expected to handle 400 million passengers by 2020 and has plans to invest US$ 100 billion in airports expansion projects over the next few years, which includes eight new runways in the Gulf region. In contrast, the UK debated for decades over a third runway for Heathrow and eventually decided against it.

Change Here to Stay

If there's one thing on which we all agree it's that we cannot sit back and rest on our laurels for a job well done. Change is a fact of life in today's world and new challenges are arriving all the time. The status quo simply will not suffice.

Our strategies and business models need a continuous re-look as the aviation scene is changing rapidly as a result of the global downturn, security issues, expansion of LCC's, growth in demand for allied services including MRO and ground handling, proliferation of undiscovered ancillary revenue strategies, shortage of skilled human resources, various types of consolidation and emergence of a new wave of technology. All this has led to market fragmentation and segmentation. We need to communicate closer, understand each other, and work together. The 'AIR CENTER' conference provides precisely for this.

Air Centre Conference

Dr. Khaled Almazroui added:

“Our vision for the Air Centre calls for the evolution of the Fujairah international Airport with multiple, diverse aviation-related activities. The concept is not easily duplicated at other airports. In these next two days of the conference we want to give an idea of our vision along with the core economic and environmental issues. We hope to expand on this vision.”

“Over the next two days, let’s meet with one another and let’s discuss ideas for moving forward, as we explore the power of partnerships.”

Air Center 2011 Conference Details

Between 200 to 300 delegates are meeting during 13-14 April 2011 at the Al Diar Siji Hotel in Fujairah.

Take a Look

Download a copy of the Air Center Conference booklet which contains the Chairman’s welcome, the schedule of meetings, the speaker biographies and the list of conference sponsors.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted in the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Image: The front page of the Air Center Conference booklet.

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