Laila Hareb, ED, Strategy & International Affairs
Walid Ghanim, ED, Support Services
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced the new organization structure including the appointment of new leading cadres capable of managing various operations, carrying out the mission of the GCAA and realizing its strategic goals and vision in line with the latest performance standards.
This step comes as part of the comprehensive transformation program which was launched and adopted by the GCAA last year. The program aims at making a radical change in flight management control operations and safety and security quality standards, improve the technical and supervisory capabilities of the GCAA and enhance cooperation with strategic partners. It reflects the GCAA's determination to build on its previous achievements in order to create an environment which empowers and drives the civil aviation industry in the UAE to achieve development across all sectors.
According to the strategic plan and the applicable development procedures, the GCAA, a leader in adopting the best global practices, started in January 2011 the implementation of the new organization structure, focusing on the elements of safety and security, environmental sustainability, navigation services, air transport, and improvement of internal operations, with the aim of becoming a global reference point in this field.
The new organization structure of the GCAA consists of several main sectors: Air Navigation Services, Aviation Safety Affairs, Aviation Security Affairs, Strategy and International Affairs, Support Services, and Air Accident Investigations. In addition, there are independent departments reporting directly to the Director General of the GCAA: Audit, Quality and Risk Management and the UAE's Representative Office to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The structure also includes the Commercial Services sector, which will become active in the future.
H.E Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director General, GCAA, stated that “The new vision of the GCAA is based on establishing a safe, leading and sustainable civil aviation system. The values under this vision focus on security, safety, human resources, enhanced effective and transparent relations with partners, the implementation of best legal and ethical standards so as to ensure integrity and commitment to professionalism and efficiency in improving operations, which is the goal of this new organization structure.”
“The achievements made through the adoption of the Comprehensive Transformation Program include the new financial and strategic plan and the new organization structure which has been completed, approved and circulated, including operations and various organization functions.” Al Suwaidi added.
Under the GCAA’s new organization structure, new leading cadres have been appointed at the head of various organization and administrative sectors in order to carry out the strategic plans in the future. Eng. Ismael Mohammad Al Baloushi was appointed as Executive Director of the Aviation Safety sector, which includes five departments: Policy, Regulation and Planning, Flight Operations, Airworthiness, Licensing, and Air Navigation and Aerodromes. His duties include: formulating the aviation safety policies and regulations in the UAE, establishing an integrated system to control, support and develop policies for all relevant technical areas, providing technical experts to investigate air accidents and incidents, developing and implementing the aviation safety promotion plans, and drafting local and international strategic technical agreements in coordination with the relevant authorities.
Mrs. Laila Ali Saif bin Hareb Al Mehiri was appointed as Executive Director of the Strategy and International Affairs sector, which consists of three main departments, namely the Department of Strategic Planning, Statistics, and Corporate Performance Control and the Department of Air Transport and Economic and Environmental Studies, and Department of Corporate Development in addition to two sub-units: International Affairs Unit, and Corporate Communication Unit. She will be in charge of developing, following up and controlling strategic, operational and statistical plans and corporate development of the GCAA, establishing and maintaining relations with local and international strategic partners, formulating policies in relation to economic and environmental affairs and air transport, preparing feasibility studies for new systems and policies, supporting corporate and project management and regulating their management and direction, strengthening air connections, entering into bilateral agreement and overseeing corporate communication at the GCAA.
Eng. Walid Ghanim Al Ghaith was appointed as Executive Director of the Support Services sector, which consists of four departments: Finance, Administration and Procurement, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Legal Affairs. He will be in charge of managing support services and staff, preparing the balance sheet, determining salaries and fees, preparing financial reports and statements for the GCAA Board of Directors, and interacting with the directors of other departments in order to achieve the goals of the GCAA.
The Executive Director of Aviation Safety Affairs, Eng. Ismael Mohammad Al Balooshi, has an extensive experience of over 20 years in the aviation sector. He started his career as an aviation engineer at Emirates Airlines. In 2001 he joined the GCAA as airworthiness inspector. In 2006 Mr. Al Balooshi became chief of the Airworthiness Department and continued in this position until 2010, when he was appointed to his present position. Mr. Al Balooshi currently manages the activities of the sector, including oversight of airworthiness, flight operations, licensing, as well as supervising air operation experts in charge of the design and implementation of advanced concepts and practices in relation to aviation safety.
Mr. Al Balooshi has recently earned an MBA degree in Flight Management from Coventry University, UK. His duties also include communication with international bodies and foreign authorities to coordinate aviation safety issues. He represented the UAE at several regional and international organizations and headed several specialized task forces at the GCAA.
Mrs. Laila bin Hareb Al Mehiri is an expert in corporate strategies and has vast experience in developing and implementing the strategies of large establishments and entities in the public sector. Her experience covers various fields of sector management, such as organization development, corporate performance, quality and excellence, and managing relations with the relevant authorities or partners.
Bin Hareb’s past experience and achievements include developing the corporate strategic plan for three years and implementing the strategy of customer relations department at the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai, where she worked as Director of Strategy and Corporate Performance. She has vast experience in information technology, training and marketing.
Shortly after joining the GCAA in September 2009, Mrs. Laila bin Hareb was responsible for completing the Comprehensive Transformation Program and reviewing local laws governing the civil aviation sector. The Comprehensive Transformation Program resulted in formulating a new strategy and proposing new organization basis for the civil aviation sector. The changes in the aviation law dealt with certain gaps, thereby putting the GCAA on the same level as the best civil aviation authorities in the world, setting standards for performance and excellence in corporate strategic planning at the GCAA, and contributing to the enhancement of internal regulations, which is part of the Comprehensive Transformation Program carefully planned in 2009 and successfully implemented at the beginning of 2010.
Currently, Mrs. Laila bin Hareb is working on developing a comprehensive strategy for the GCAA with the aim of establishing a model that will efficiently help Arab countries work together under the umbrella of the ACAC in order to enhance the civil aviation sector in terms of safety, security, environment, air navigation and air transport agreements.
Mr. Walid Ghanim Al Ghaith, Executive Director of Support Services, and formerly Head of Licensing and Aeromedical, GCAA, has over 17 years of experience. Following graduation and training in aircraft maintenance, he joined the GCAA in 1999 as safety and security inspector. In 2002 he became Head of the Licensing and Aeromedical Department and continued in this position until 2010. At the Licensing Department, he led over 30 staff and approved all types of licenses, including licenses for private pilots, commercial pilots, transport pilots, licensed aircraft engineers, cargo aircrafts, air flight engineers and balloons. In addition, he approved training companies, medical facilities and appointed examiners, whether land service examiners or air flight examiners. He is developing the licensing procedures in line with the best international practices.
Al Ghaith graduated from Emirates Flying School as an aviation engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in administration from the American University in London, and a master's degree in business administration.