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Abu Dhabi, Chicago become 'sister airports'.

Byline: Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport have signed a MoU to become 'sister airports', in a unique twinning arrangement which will see the sharing of technical, commercial and environmental best practices.

Under the agreement, the airports will set up joint working groups to evaluate ways in which they can work together on a wide range of areas.

The MoU aims to establish collaboration across a number of areas, including technical cooperation and exchange, airport business and development opportunities, as well as on-the-job training.

A particular focus will be given to a personnel exchange programme which will provide training and skills development opportunities for Abu Dhabi Airport staff.

Khalifa Al Mazrouei, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), and Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago's commissioner of the Department of Aviation, signed the agreement during a ceremony at the AON Centre in Chicago.

The agreement was initiated by the Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies, a new aviation think tank and human capital development entity, which is an arm of ADAC, and the Chicago Department of Aviation.

A professional technical exchange and development programme for personnel from the two airports will encourage skills-sharing and knowledge transfer, while the two companies will also look at business and commercial opportunities for the airports and their customers.

In addition, the two will share approaches and experiences on airport sustainability and the promotion of green airports and their impact on a healthier climate.

Al Mazrouei said: "We are delighted that our airports are at the forefront of this co-operation. Our vision is for Abu Dhabi to have one of the world's leading airports and we have been investing in developing our infrastructure and our skills to the highest levels."

"This partnership brings us together with a truly world-class partner and we are looking forward to developing the many opportunities it represents," he noted.

"The launch of flights by Etihad Airways between Abu Dhabi and Chicago offers great opportunities for our cities to work together, sharing our cultures and our experiences in many different sectors."

"I am particularly pleased with the opportunities for personnel exchanges, allowing us to develop the technical and management skills of our workforce in Abu Dhabi, especially for our Emirati employees," Al Mazrouei added.

Rosemarie said, "The cities of Chicago and Abu Dhabi have many similarities, including a vision for urban and economic growth with a focus on sustainability. We look forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship between our airports."

Abu Dhabi International Airport is currently one of the world's fastest-growing airports, with more than 9.02 million passengers in 2008, up from 6.9 million the year before.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is the world's second busiest airport, with more than 69 million passengers in 2008, travelling within the US and to more than 60 destinations worldwide.

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 17, 2009
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