Dubai, UAE, October 5, 2017: The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) today celebrates the UAE Civil Aviation Day, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on October 5th 2014, as part of the UAE’s efforts to elevate awareness around the Aviation sector amongst both nationals and non-nationals in UAE.
The day marks the progress and achievements of the aviation sector to date, celebrating the history of aviation in the UAE, as well as looking to the future of the industry. The celebration also highlights the achievements and the joint efforts of numerous different stakeholders in the industry to make it the success story it is today.
From the first commercial flight arriving in the UAE in October 1932 from Pakistan, UAE aviation has flourished and the sector now employs almost 500,000 people (both directly and indirectly) and contributes approximately AED169bn (US$46bn) equivalent to 15% of the GDP of the country.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman, Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group said: “Aviation is a major contributor to the UAE’s economic prosperity. We are fortunate to have visionary leaders that recognise the many benefits aviation brings and we continue to invest in infrastructure, innovative products and experiences to maintain our position as a leading aviation hub. At the same time we also play an active role in collaboration with international organisations to shape the future of aviation. I am confident of the prospects for the UAE’s aviation sector, and its continued importance as a pillar for our country’s growth and competitiveness, charting a positive course for future generations.”
H.E Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority said: “We are very proud of our achievements to date in the UAE, as the industry has grown from very humble beginnings to becoming a major strength for the UAE at a regional and global level. We have two of the largest international carriers in the world as well as flagship low cost airlines that are breaking new ground all the time. At the same time as serving our domestic economy by connecting it to all corners of the world our primary focus is safety and security for all those operating and travelling through our airports. We continually strive to reach the highest global standards to ensure that passengers and operators alike can continue to travel in safety.”
H.E Sheikh Khalid Bin Issam Al Qassimi, Chairman of Department of
Civil Aviation-Sharjah said: “Sharjah International Airport is proud to begin this remarkable journey on October 5, 1932, when the first aircraft landed on Sharjah soil, making this station a strategic landing point for Imperial Airways. Also there were other achievements like the first air cargo terminal in UAE, along with the Duty Free Shop, that were built at Sharjah International Airport. The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) was established in 1995 while in 1999, the International Meteorological Organisation announced that the MET centre in Sharjah International Airport would the official centre in UAE for providing weather forecasts. Air Arabia, the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East was launched in 2003.
For more than eight decades UAE has accomplished extraordinary growth in the aviation sector which was driven by the long term vision of our wise leadership. We look forward to celebrating the 5th of October every year through continuous achievements and developments that will make UAE on par with developed countries.”
H.E Engineer Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation-RAQ said: “I extend my congratulations to the leadership and citizens of the United Arab Emirates for the occasion of the UAE Civil Aviation Day. Ras Al Khaimah remains committed towards the further development and prosperity our civil aviation sector, and aim to bolster the sector as a whole with national capabilities and working with other Emirates.”
HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE GCAA said: We have much to be proud of as a nation and as an industry; from humble beginnings the UAE has become one of biggest passenger hubs in the world. Our airports and airlines are consistently ranked among the best internationally and the UAE is ranked as the top ICAO member state in compliance level with ICAO requirements under the USOAP Programme. The future of the sector is also bright, the current development projects and expansion of the country’s airports will accelerate growth in the aviation industry over the next few years.”
Laila bin Hareb, Assistant Director General, added: “Civil Aviation Day is an important platform to promote safety and security of air transport and to raise awareness among the UAE public about the considerable and far reaching benefits of the Aviation Industry for the UAE such as job creation and knowledge transfer, as well as indirect benefits to the wider economy in the tourism, industry, technology, engineering and retail sectors.”
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said: “Dubai Airports recently marked 57 years of operations at Dubai International and reached the impressive figure of over 830 million passengers being welcomed through the years. If this wasn’t enough to commemorate, 2017 also gave us three months where our passenger figures exceeded 8 million. This would not have been possible without the support of all of our UAE Civil Aviation partners and our dedicated employees. Sustaining this growth and building for the future is our next priority and with the innovative vision of the rulers of the country, we are confident the future of the aviation sector in the UAE is very bright and we are proud to play a part in it and to join in celebrating on this dedicatory day.”
His Excellence Muhammad Abdallah Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said: “On the 5th of October each year we celebrate UAE Civil Aviation Day, which gained prominence thanks to the wise guidance of our visionary leadership, which has sought to establish efficient infrastructure and provide workers in the sector with extensive skills, as well as developing the appropriate regulations that ensure the continuity and prosperity of the sector. The fact that we consistently follow the highest standards of safety and security, we have continued developed our human capital and constantly sought to innovate, have all contributed to the success the sector is witnessing now. This in turn is the most significant incentive for the development of future plans intended to maintain our advanced position on the global aviation industry map. He concluded: 'We would also like to congratulate all workers in the civil aviation sector in the UAE for their hard work and their sincere efforts, and wish them continued success in the future.”
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “As the UAE's national airline, Etihad Airways is proud to celebrate UAE Civil Aviation Day with our colleagues and partners from across the field of aviation. The UAE stands at the forefront of the global civil aviation industry - with our world class airlines, airports and infrastructure - and we are very happy to mark these achievements today. We congratulate the GCAA on its dedication to the continued provision and expansion of civil aviation within the UAE.'
In coordination with partners and stakeholders in the industry, such as ICAO, UAE Airlines, UAE Airports, PMO and DGMO, the GCAA is celebrating the occasion through numerous events and initiatives that showcase the concerted and coordinated efforts by the aviation industry in the past decades which have resulted in this remarkable progress.