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Completion of Dubai Int'l refurb will boost air traffic

Thriving aviation sector to contribute 32% to Dubai's GDP by 2020.
Air traffic, DXB, NEWS, Aviation

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Completion of the major runway refurbishment at Dubai International Airport will lead to a 'significant surge in air traffic', according to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of DCAA and chairman of Dubai Airports.

Speaking to Via Dubai, the official newsletter of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), he said: "We are on the mark in terms of giving a big boost to the aviation industry which we anticipate will contribute 32 per cent to Dubai's GDP by 2020."

The next project due for completion is a new concourse, Concourse D, which will be connected to an existing terminal by automated train and is due to open in the first quarter of next year, with a trial run taking place soon. 

The concourse is part of a $7.8billion expansion programme designed to boost the airport's capacity to over 100 million passengers annually by 2020.

The development of Al Maktoum International Airport with an eventual capacity of 160 million passengers is also progressing in phases.

Ahmed Hamad Al Hammadi, head of dangerous goods section at Aviation Security & Accident Investigation Department, also spoke to Via Dubai to confirm the DCAA is working on linking its online approval system for dangerous goods transportation with the State Security Department (SSD) and Dubai Police for faster and seamless sanction of applications for transportation of explosives and radioactive materials.

"We have issued 9,764 No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for dangerous goods transportation by both passenger and cargo airlines in 2013, up from 8146 NOCs, while 686 approvals were given for firearms transportation last year as against 588 in the year 2012," he said.

In the first half of 2014, 4344 and 346 NOCs were issued for the dangerous goods and firearms, respectively. During the same period, about 189 applications for dangerous goods transportation were turned down.

Last year, the department rejected 654 requests for dangerous goods transportation and eight for the firearms for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance of international and local rules and regulations.

He added: "The compliance rate by the cargo industry is very high and we are working to improve this further through creating industry awareness about the latest in dangerous goods regulations and potential suspicious shipments."

According to figures released by International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline industry handles 52 million tonnes of cargo a day globally.

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