Technology playing key role in the success of aviation sector

Abdulqader Obaid Ali: Smart solutions can reduce cost of airport operations by 20-30 per cent

Technology has become crucial in the success of aviation industry, which is ceaselessly working toward dealing with the strong rise in number of air travelers, estimated by IATA to increaseto 7.2 billion by 2035.

Dubai has taken the lead in implementing latest technology and smart solutions to make journey of passengers easier, comfortable and happier and the Dubai Airports, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, is fully equipped to efficiently handle the massive growth in passenger numbers, aircraft movement, baggage and cargo volumes, a senior expert has said.

By 2025, Dubai Airports is expecting to carry 143 million passengers through Dubai International and World Central Airports, while the aircraft movement is estimated to increase to 742,000 from the current 498,000, number of bags to 165 million from 118 million and total cargo is set to record more than 80 per cent increase to 7.2 million tonnes.

“Technology is the key to effectively handle the stupendous growth being witnessed by Dubai’s aviation sector. Dubai International has put Dubai NX governance in place which will ensure a seamless movement of passengers, aircraft, baggage and cargo, help operate an optimized business and ensure return of past and present customers while attracting new ones,” said Michael Ibbitson, EVP Technology & Infrastructure, Dubai Airports, while addressing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from across the UAE, at the recently held CIOMajlis on ‘Dubai Vision, Mission, Strategy and How it connects to Dubai Airports’.

CIOMajlis is an initiative by Smartworld, an Etisalat and Dubai South joint venture, that seeks to share experience, enhance knowledge, and explore business solutions of its members. It is an interactive platform for vendors, media and CIOs for exchange of best practices and ideas and formulates strategy to address common IT issues. The CIOMajlis was attended by over 30 CIOs from across IT, entertainment, utilities, communication and other sectors.

Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Smartworld, said: “Smart solutions are the key to enhancing efficiencies in airports and can reduce the cost of operations by 20-30 per cent. Dubai’s aviation sector, which is among the fastest growing in the world, has set exemplary international standards with the use of latest technologies and smart solutions. From using robotics to biometrics, Dubai and the UAE is adopting technologies that are significantly impactful when it comes to ensuring security and enhancing the passenger experience. The next two decades are set to witness a magnificent pace of growth in this sector and innovative use of smart technologies.”

According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), United Arab Emirates (UAE) will enjoy the highest average annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent over the next two decades, which presents the challenge of ensuring speedy procedures and ensuring a seamless passenger experience. Globally, the passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.2 billion by 2034 with a 3.8 per cent average annual growth in demand.

As per the Dubai Airports Strategic Plan 2017-2025, the aviation sector will generate a total of AED 195 billion, almost 37.5 per cent of Dubai’s GDP and create 754,500 jobs, which is 29.5 per cent of employment in Dubai by 2020.

Firmly focused on propelling technology that drives customer service delivery and revolutionizes passenger experience, Dubai Airports aims to enable growth, together with technology suppliers, and develop products and solutions to deliver the airport’s strategy.

“Dubai is catering for 66 passengers per head of population, which is higher than any other country and by 2025, we will have an airport system which is busier than the current day London, New York City or Tokyo. The growth will be catered to by enhancing capacity and operations,” said Ibbitson.

“In line with the UAE’s vision to be one of the best countries in the world by 2021, we are fully equipped to handle the massive growth in aviation sector and to receive 143 million passengers, the infrastructure is also well in place with Dubai World Central’s three runways and two concourses and two runways and 4 concourses at Dubai International. Dubai World Central will take over as the world’s largest airport,” he concluded.