UAE aims for ATC safety at Middle East conference


There is an array of challenges facing the skies above the Middle East region – from managing a rapid increase in air traffic and filling in holes in radar and infrastructure coverage, to the need for a strategic coordinating body and the lack of regional coordination. The ATC Global Middle East Conference taking place in Abu Dhabi this December will provide a much-needed forum for the discussion and debate of these issues, the resolution of which are essential for the sustainability and safety of the Middle East’s ambitious aviation development strategies.

The two-day conference, presented by the organizers of the ATC Global Conference & Exhibition, is being hosted by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), will explore and debate air traffic control and aviation growth, capacity, plans, and challenges by regional and international ATC leaders.

According to Marc Baumgartner, president & CEO of IFATCA (the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations), who is speaking at the conference: “Future growth in the Middle East will be made by all stakeholders working closer together, developing an understanding of the various ATM needs and requirements. At IFATCA, we encourage that collaboration between all stakeholders is celebrated. Events like this are vital to establish the basis for this collaboration.”

Key decision-makers from regional and global ATMs will be speaking at and attending the conference. Keynote speakers include Dr. Majdi Sabri, regional vice president of Middle East & North Africa, IATA; Mohammed Khonji, regional director of ICAO; and Marc Baumgartner, president & CEO of IFATCA. They will be joined by senior representatives from organizations including the US Department of Defense, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) Saudi Arabia, Office National Des Aeroports (ONDA) – Morocco, Civil Aviation Affairs – Kingdom of Bahrain, the FAA, EUROCONTROL, JATCA, Air Arabia, Emirates, EUROMED Aviation Project, and many more.

Dignitaries will also gather at the first ever ATC Global Middle East Gala Dinner, which is being held on the first evening of the conference. Activities will culminate on the third day of the event with a hosted tour of the GCAA’s Sheikh Zayed Centre for Air Traffic Movement – the largest and most advanced ATM facility in the Middle East.