Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed during the opening ceremony
The 11th edition of the Airport Show, was opened today by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group. The show features over 160 exhibitors and a 63 member strong contingent of hosted buyers who will be sourcing products to the tune of AED 106 billion.
The opening was attended by a number of industry professionals, visitors, contractors and senior representatives from airport authorities and airlines. His Highness Ahmed Bin Saeed took a tour of the exhibition and was briefed on the latest developments and technologies available to the airports industry.
Organised by REED Exhibitions Middle East, one of the leading organisers of trade and consumer exhibitions, the event caters to the needs of existing and new airports in the region where development and expansion projects are estimated to cost US$90 billion over the next few years.
Dr. Khaled Al Mazrouei, General Manager of Fujairah International Airport and the Chairman of the Airport Leaders Summit 2011 said: “As per the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the UAE is expected to be the world’s second fastest growing aviation market in the world with 10.2% growth by 2013, second to China with a 10.8% growth. Over the last decade, Middle Eastern carriers went from 5% of global passenger traffic to 11%.
Industry analysts also believe that the private air charter business will pick up in the late 2011 and on into 2012. This is evident from the forecasted growth for the region in which aircraft movement is predicted to touch 160,000 by 2018 at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.21% per year for the Middle East region.”
GCC countries have allocated an estimated $90 Billion for airport development over the next few years, which include eight new runways in the Gulf region, development of 1200 airports and military bases worldwide in addition to the new ones coming up.
Amongst the leading investors in airport development activity in the Gulf are cities such as Dubai which has allocated $10 Billion, Abu Dhabi which has allocated $6.8 Billion, Qatar with $11 Billion, Jeddah with $1.5 Billion, Muscat with $1.2 Billion,approximately $2.1 Billion in Kuwait and $335 Million in Bahrain. Statistics from the Airports Council International (ACI) and IATA support the numbers as the global aviation bodies predict airports in the Middle East to handle over 400 Million passengers by 2020.
For several years now, airports and airlines have been benefiting from the robust demand for air travel in line with healthy global economic growth.
A leading project that will take the center-stage during the show is King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) that will aim to source state-of-the-art technology and construction materials for its estimated spending of US$11.3 billion towards its expansion.
Mohamad Bader-Eddin, Show Director, REED Exhibitions Middle East, said: “Airport development and expansion is projected to exponentially grow over the coming years in the Middle East and Asia. As we near the exhibition date, we are looking forward to gather the sector’s veterans, who will exchange valuable industry insights, highlight opportunities and explore a roadmap to overcome challenges.”
The Airport Expo has organised the ‘Airport Leaders Summit’ which runs from 31 May – 1 June on the sidelines of the exhibition and focus on security, sustainable expansion and current economic concerns. The summit offers an unparalleled opportunity to interact with an elite group of decision-makers from governments and businesses worldwide. It also aims to find long-term solutions to strategic issues the industry faces in the wake of the global economic uncertainty, rigid credit markets, high fuel prices and changing regulatory norms.
Additionally, the event seeks to deliver a combination of high quality networking and business development opportunities through a series of roundtable discussions and seminars. Innovation seminars cover topics such as ‘Cavotec Innovative Gate Systems’ ‘Environmental Capacity: Managing the Impact of Airport Noise’ and ‘The World's First Mobile Passenger Terminal’. In addition to spotlighting the King Abdulaziz International Airport, project seminars also features the new design and development of the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Airport Show 2011 is sponsored by King Abdulaziz International Airport, Thales and Tiger Profiles. It is also supported by leading aviation authorities and trade bodies including Dubai Airports, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), UAE Contractors Association, British Aviation Group, British Airport Services & Equipment Association (BASEA), Danish Airport Group, UBIFRANCE (the French Agency for international business development), and the Netherlands Airport Technology Group.