Friday, June 6, 2014
By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT — Due to lack of enough airspace in parts of the Gulf region, airline operators are forced to pay more for fuel, said Husein Dabbar, Regional Vice-President of International Air Transport Association, Africa and Middle East. Speaking to reporters from Oman at the World Air Transport Summit in Doha, Dabbar said, “Primarily 40 to 50 per cent airspace in the Gulf region is under the control of non-civilian authorities”. “As a result commercial flights often do not get space for landing”, he said, adding, “very often it happens that aircraft have to hover in the sky for lack of space on the ground”. This means more fuel is required as they spend more time in the sky. Same problem crops up during the take-off, too, spending more on fuel.
“Oman is one of the countries, which is hit due to air traffic congestion in its neighbouring countries”, he said. “Airspace congestion is a real and rising problem. And it grows with each new aircraft that is delivered. Unless it is dealt with expeditiously, the efficient hub operations which are supporting the region’s success will begin to unravel”, Dabbar said. Airliners have to suffer a lot more expenditure due to avoidable consumption of fuel, the price of which rose manifold in the recent past. In Europe, the problem is at its zenith, he said. “Learn from the mistakes of Europe. The single aviation market created enormous demand for air connectivity.
The result is an inefficient and fragmented air traffic management system that is a burden on European competitiveness,” Dabbar commented. One solution, he said, “is to develop partnerships and trust with the military to open more flexible use zones. That is happening progressively — but it is not keeping pace with demand for air travel.” “Global standards provide a common language for industry partners to work together. A large part of the success of aviation in the Gulf goes to the importance that the stakeholders in the region — governments and industry — have placed on them”, Dabbar added.
Friday 06th, June 2014 / 23:50 Written by