UAE – Improvements to air traffic management and airspace design will be critical points of debate at the fifth edition of the World Aviation Safety Summit (WASS), being held in Dubai from today.
Next generation ATM technology will be analysed, as well as airspace design planning and how to minimise unstable runway approaches.
This topic is of significant concern to GCC aviation leaders who have for a long time debated improving airspace collaboration across governments to reduce congestion and ultimately improve safety. It was recently announced that a centralised air traffic management system in the GCC had reached a very advanced stage, according to the director general of UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). It is expected that this will be improve access, collaboration and safety across the region.
WASS hot topics
Industry experts will discuss air traffic control (ATC) security and resilience, avoidance of Airprox incidents on international routes, as well as how to enhance crew and ATC communication.
The summit will also include topics from flight over conflict zones and threats of terrorist activities to safety monitoring and measurement, each with contributions from leading experts in the fields and an assessment of the international best practices being applied.
With increased instability and the existing armed conflicts around the world, the effects on civilian aviation security have been a notable public interest topic. Security experts and policy-makers will consider related topics during the ‘overflight and handling a complex geopolitical environment’ on day one of the conference. In particular, they will address safety risk assessment for overflight of militant areas and zones, with many airlines no longer flying over conflict hot spots following a number of incidents over recent years. The panel will also provide up-to-date insights concerning coordination of safety information around war zones and increasing threats of terrorist activities.
The Summits Association Partner Iata said: “Air Traffic Management is a key component and critical enabler to the growth of international air transport. Fragmented ATC operating standards create challenges in meeting the need for increased capacity and growth of air traffic. Improvements in military/civil cooperation and partnerships to address the use of military designated airspace for civil operations (when not utilised by the military) will assist States to further mitigate overcapacity and associated safety related concerns, whilst at the same time providing for positive economic growth. To be completely effective, it is also imperative that airport development aligns with the airspace efficiency.”
Tracking under discussion
Inflight tracking is also another pertinent topic to be discussed, with a dedicated panel at the close of day two. Specific areas of attention include the implementation of continuous air tracking systems that could provide real-time locations of airborne vehicles from departure to destination. While disappearances are an incredibly rare occurrence nowadays, a number of high-profile incidents have highlighted the need for improved inflight tracking technologies.
Other panels focus on management of staff, dealing with such matters as creating a safety culture within aviation organisations, including applying effective safety training management and programmes. Fatigue management and flight time limitations are also important issues for all airlines, and will be discussed alongside pilot fitness, crew health and other factors to reduce human error in aviation.
Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, director general at the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said: “With our growing presence on the global aviation scene and solid status as an international aviation hub, we are committed to improving safety standards across the sector. As the sector and industry continue to grow, so too do the number of safety factors that need to be taken into account, and that’s why this year we are discussing such a broad range of topics. The fifth World Aviation Safety Summit will advance local, regional and international understandings of some of the most pressing issues facing carriers today, as well as providing cutting-edge and innovative response to current challenges.”
Nick Webb at Streamline Marketing Group, the event organisers, said: “The aviation and aerospace sector in the UAE continues to demonstrate terrific growth, and was recently estimated to account for 750,000 jobs by 2020. Safety is a huge part of that, and represents a foundation for all other aviation activities. As such, the World Aviation Safety Summit will provide a sound platform for the ongoing discussions of these crucial issues, and contribute to maintaining Dubai’s leading position at the helm of the industry.”
The summit runs from 11-12 April at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Hosted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), the annual conference provides a platform for policy-makers, business leaders and experts in fields related to aviation safety to discuss contemporary issues facing the sector and industry.