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Civil Aviation New navigation centre opened 30 airlines banned from UAE airspace.

Byline: Himendra Mohan KumarStaff Reporter

Abu Dhabi The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday announced the official opening of the Dh300-million state-of-the-art Shaikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Its operating cost will be Dh20 million a year.

"The vision of the GCAA is for the UAE to take a leading position in the arena of international civil aviation," said GCAA Director General Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi at a news conference.

"We are achieving this by establishing and developing the policies and rules related to the regulation of air navigation services; raising safety and security levels and ensuring quality implementation of the best international standards and practices in line with civil aviation-approved regulations," he added.

According to Hassan Mohammad H. Karam, Director of Air Navigation Services at the GCAA, UAE aerospace has become the busiest in the Middle East.

"The flight movements increased to 1,652 in October, an increase of 13.4 per cent over the same month last year," he said.

Recent activities

Al Suwaidi said their recent activities included the opening of a new air route, A419, which connects UAE airports with KITAP in Saudi Arabia in close cooperation and liaison with air forces and defence.

The new route reduces the duration of flights, with consequential fuel and cost savings, as well as a reduction in engine emissions.

He said the GCAA has also developed a plan to implement the newest international air navigation system known as RNAV 1 on all arriving and departing flights, eventually facilitating the air traffic flow and increasing the capacity of air routes.

"The Abu Dhabi International Airport was the first airport to implement this system in the Middle East," said Al Suwaidi.

Abu Dhabi About 30 foreign airlines perceived to be unsafe have been banned from entering UAE airspace since the beginning of this year to ensure air and ground safety, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi said yesterday.

"More airlines are to follow on that list as our safety department is continuously monitoring critical parameters of civil aviation safety which includes the age of the aircraft and their maintenance," said Al Suwaidi, replying to a question by Gulf News at a news conference here at the new Shaikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre.

"The list includes both private and state-owned airlines.

They are mainly from Asia and Africa," said Al Suwaidi, declining to be more specific.

Concerns over some airlines flouting international civil aviation safety rules were accentuated when a Sudanese cargo plane crashed last month shortly after takeoff from Sharjah airport, killing all six crew members.

Azza Air Transport Company, the Sudanese operator of the Boeing 707 cargo plane that crashed, was banned from UAE airspace by the General Civil Aviation Authority, pending further investigations.

The cargo plane was carrying air conditioning units, automotive parts, computers, personal effects and tools.

It exploded on impact and was engulfed in flames as the fuel caught fire.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 11, 2009
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