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13 April 2024

Middle East to set up air safety panel

By Nissar Hoath


A civil aviation safety organisation will be set up to prepare safety measures for the protection of the industry in the Middle East.

The decision to establish the Middle East Safety Team was made at the end of the two-day Middle East Aviation Safety Summit held in the capital. The summit was attended by several decision-makers of the civil aviation industry in the region.

The new safety team comes in line with the recommendations of the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap (GASR) drawn up by the International Safety Strategy Group (ISSG).

The summit, jointly hosted by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac), also finalised a resolution related to the implementation of the policy throughout the Middle East.

The Middle East Safety Team will be comprised of industry and government stakeholders from across the region and will be co-chaired by government and industry partners on a rotational basis to ensure appropriate regional representation.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Salami, deputy chairman of the GCAA, was elected as the first chairman.

The participants said successful aviation safety initiatives have resulted due to industry, regulators, manufacturers and other stakeholders working in tandem to address common safety issues.

They agreed to accept the GASR and Global Aviation Safety Plan of the International Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as the basis for the development of safety action plans in the region.

Al Salami said: “The Abu Dhabi summit draws a line in the sand for aviation safety in the region. Our priority will be to ensure that air safety in the Middle East becomes a paradigm for others to follow.

We will also be addressing the chronic shortage of aviation professionals, the lack of qualifications of safety managers and auditing third party providers, such as air navigation services, and provide training to existing personnel in safety management systems.

Al Salami said a number of initiative were aimed at emerging issues, such as the advent of super large aircraft, ageing fleets of first generation jets and the rapid growth of aviation, including commercial, military, UAVs (unmanned aviation vehicles) as well as private and business jets.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Development for Government Sector and Chairman of the GCAA, said the resolutions will provide a blueprint for others to follow. “The agreement has been signed by representatives from Iraq, Sudan, the UAE, ICAO, EASA and the FSF and we are expecting many other who could not attend to endorse it in the near future,” he added.