Wednesday, September 28, 2022 7:41:23 AM        Abu Dhabi 25- Clear- Humidity 78%       
Skip Navigation Links
About UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be dated back to thousands of years ago, as far back as 5000 BC. Evidence of this is the discovery of pottery found in Ras Al-Khaimah ...

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was established in 1996 by Federal Cabinet Decree (Law 4) to regulate Civil Aviation and provide designated aviation services with emphasis on safety and security ...

International Cooperation
The UAE has become increasingly aware that there can be no variation or compromise in standards of safety, security and treatment of the environment amongst the 190 ICAO....
Related Links
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
General Civil Aviation Authority
The UAE Government Official Portal
Dubai International Airport
UAE Genetic Diseases Association

Aviation in UAE
Aviation in UAE

UAE Civil Aviation Sector

The UAE carriers are consistently recognized for their innovative andcutting edge developments, while maintaining an enviable safety record. In addition to their fleet and network expansion,UAE carriers continue their march towards growth with significant improvements in their business strategy, joining hands with some of the major airlines either through acquisition of stakes or code sharing. Whilst Emirates hassigned a 10-year partnership deal with Qantas, Etihad is aiming to extend its international partnerships by entering into code-share agreements and purchasing minority shares in airlines from countries stretching from Germany to Australia.  Other UAE carriers, suchas Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and RAK Airways, are also looking at continuous expansion and growth plans.

Fleet Size






(8 freighters)


(7 freighters)



(7 freighters)


(3 freighters)

Air Arabia



Fly Dubai






The UAE has seven international airports built and operated with the most modern equipments. In 2012, the number of air traffic movements from, through and to UAE airports exceeded 657,000. Dubai International Airport now ranks third in the world in terms of international passengers. In addition, Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai City will be the largest airport in the world at a budgeted cost of 36 billion AED (10billion USD). It will occupy an area of 140 square kilometers and have the capacity to serve 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of freight annually. Driven by consistent growth in passenger traffic, UAE airports continue to invest in infrastructure. Whether it is the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) at Abu Dhabi International Airport or a dedicated terminal for A380 aircraft at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, the pace remains relentless. These developments in infrastructure are well complemented by the UAE’s unyielding commitment to facilitate global connectivity.

Number of Scheduled Carriers




Abu Dhabi










Ras Al Khaimah






Al Ain



The UAE has managed to increase the number of Open Skies agreements and improve the status of existing Air Services Agreements (ASAs), thereby advancing the overall connectivity of the country. Just as in previous years, there is consistent growth in the number of foreign carriers operating into the UAE. To date, the UAE has signed fully liberalizedor Open Skies agreements with 122 countries - the second highest number of such agreements after the United States.

Type of Agreement



Open Skies












The UAE has always recognized the benefits of air transport liberalization. Thanks to an open approach to competition, aviation has become a core sector of the UAE’s economy, driving development, diversification and aviation-related activities which are contributors to the country’s non-oil GDP. Aviation is a catalytic element ofthe economic supply chain and a vehicle for achieving economic and social development. The UAE aviation sector is growing rapidly because of the success achieved by the domestic and foreign airlines in stimulating new and existing international and intercontinental flows to and from the UAE that, in turn,stimulate the development of local businesses, industries and trade. The UAEhas therefore consistently endorsed a liberal aviation policy, both infostering competition within (with numerous airlines and airports) and in its firm commitment to pro-competitive Open Skies ASAs.

In addition, the UAE has already launched initiatives to expand the State’s capacity for manufacturing and maintenance plants. In this respect, the UAE has established Strata - an advanced composite, aero-structures manufacturing facility based in Al Ain producing high quality aircraft components. Through partnerships with major aircraft manufacturers, including EADS/Airbus, Boeing, Finmeccanica/AleniaAeronautica, SABCA and FACC, Strata has already manufactured major units, such as wings and empennages. This is the first project of its kind in the Middle East region.

TheUAE has also implemented concrete actions to upgrade is aviation training institutions. In this respect, in 2009, the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) established the Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies (GCAS) - a centre of excellence for airport and aviation training based in Abu Dhabi. GCAS strives to lead the development of the aviation industry in the UAE and the region through delivering highly qualified aviation professionals. GCAS is the world’s first ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Gold member.


The UAE remains extremely vigilant to achieve the highest safety standards. Thus, in order to ensure that enforcement standards remain relevant and up to date, the UAE has recently adopted the Safety Enforcement Manual. Enforcement activities arebeing diligently coordinated and monitored. This contributes to providing clear guidance to the aviation industry. It is expected that this manual will be made part of the State Safety Program (SSP). Prior to the publication of regulations, a well-established stakeholder consultation process takes place.This allows the UAE to iron out any issues with the new regulations which inturn ensures a higher rate of compliance by service providers. The entire consultation and feedback process is now carried out on-line. Technical Committees comprising members from the industry and the GCAA meet regularly to review any issues with regard to the regulations.

On the international safety front, the UAE holds the chair position for the Middle East Regional Aviation Safety Group. As recognition of the work undertaking by its National Runway Safety team, the UAE has been appointed as the Runway and Ground Safety coordinator in the Middle East. Moreover, the UAE has also been designated as the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) champion in the region due to its involvement with the ICAO/IATA PBN GO-Team. The UAE also chairs the Aerodrome Certification Task Force in the Middle East region.

Aviation Security

The UAE’s core objective in the field of aviation security is to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. To this end, the UAE has amended the Civil Aviation Security Regulations and the National Civil Aviation Security Program to ensure compliance with national and international requirements. To foster partnerships within the aviation industry, stakeholders are consulted and invited to actively participate in the process of proposed changes in aviation security regulations and programs.

In order to ensure that the airports, aircraft operators and other entities involved with aviation security responsibilities and associated safety impacts comply with the UAE aviation security regulations and programs, the GCAA continues to:

* Support the UAE Federal Government in the development, implementation and maintenance of the national aviation security policies, legislation, regulations and programs in compliance with ICAO requirements;

* Verify that aviation security measures are effectively and properly implemented to determine the level of compliance with the provisions of the UAE Civil Aviation Security Regulations and the UAE National Civil Aviation Security Program;

* Conduct assessments and surveys at non-UAE airports from which aircraft operators operate flights to the UAE airports; and

* Support the UAE airports and aircraft operators (both UAE registered and foreign) in the evolution of strategic planning for new development of airports and routes.  This has led to the expansion of operations and facilities at all the UAE airports and the establishment of new airport certification process.

Air Navigation

The foundation of UAE’s air navigation system is firmly anchored on the pillars of safety, reliability and efficiency. With total annual movements of over 740,000, the UAE recorded a total of 16 AIRPROX, 21 Level busts and 34 coordination failure incidents. The UAE achieved a 99.6% clearance rate on all 6965 reported faults ensuring a high availability of serviceable airways systems and promoting its commitment to providing a safe, reliable and efficient service to customers and stakeholders.

The GCAA has recently assumed ownership of one of the key resources for surveillance data, the RAKradar. Continuous efforts are being made in order to increase airspace capacity. New and more scalable equipment (ADS-B) is being installed throughoutthe UAE to ensure improved surveillance of air traffic. Similarly, the UAE is currently supporting the general industry move towards Aeronautical Information Management (AIM). This will ensure an easier and more consistent reuse of data between the AIP, Area Control Centre (ACC) and AIS stakeholders.

The traffic through the UAE FIR is currently increasing at around 7%annually. This makes it imperative for the UAE tocontinue investing in the training of new staff. Additional ATC sectors and other air space changes have been introduced in order to safely handle the increased levels of traffic. The specialization of the controller profiles into en-route or sequencing was implemented in order to maintain ATCO currency and sustain safety levels.

Being an important stakeholder in the Middle East aviation sector, the UAE is continuing its engagement and participation in various regional and international for a, such as ICAO, the Middle East Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group (MIDANPIRG), the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC), GCC ANC and CANSO.


Environmental protection and sustainable development are core elements of the UAE’s  policy agenda. The country is deeply engaged in the stabilization of greenhouse gases, and remains extremely active on all issues dealing with climate change. Numerous initiatives evidence UAE’s genuine commitment in this field. In this respect, the UAE hosts the headquarters ofthe International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA’s mandate is to promote sustainable use of renewable energy sources globally. Similarly, to diversity the country’s energy mix, through the Masdar Clean Energy initiative, the UAE has invested in the development of large-scale clean energy projects, ranging from utility-scale wind and solar to energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS). With the Shams 1 project, Masdar is pursuing the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the world.

Aviation stakeholders have also made significant investments in improved technology andinfrastructure. UAE carriers have one of the youngest fleet of the world. On average, aircraft are less than 6 years old. In addition, the UAE has made significant strides in introducing operational efficiencies. In particular, it has enhanced its airspace use for the expeditious flow of domestic and international air traffic. Initiatives such as the recent establishment of more direct air routes connecting Abu Dhabi to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia significantly reduce flight time, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions. Attention is also being paid to ground handling operations and catering to reduce environmental impacts through recycling, waste management and community partnership. Energy saving and waste reduction measures have been introduced by airport operators across the country.

In 2012, the UAE adopted a comprehensive policy on aviation and climate change. This policy re-affirms the role of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to reduce the impact of emissions from international civil aviation. It is imperative that, in any post-Kyoto global framework, ICAO continues providing leadership and coordination. The UAE supports the adoption of a global MBM scheme through ICAO. The policy places emphasis on encouraging strategic partners to provide reports on the environmental performance on regular basis. It also aims to encouraging the formulation and adoption of environmental policies and plans by all strategic partners, as well as the implementation of best practices based on cost-effective and positive economic impact. As a result of this policy, the UAE was one of the first States to submit an Action Plan to ICAO.

The UAE has also made a significant commitment to advance the work of ICAO’s Committee on Environmental Protection (CAEP). Although, since 2010, the UAE had actively participated in CAEP through its involvement with ACAC, in February 2013, it has gained observer status. A number of UAE experts are actively engaged in CAEP’s numerous working groups. As part of its unyielding efforts, in November 2013, the UAE will host CAEP’s Steering Group meeting in Dubai. For its nextworking cycle, the UAE expects to apply for permanent membership of CAEP.


Page Info
Last Updated: March 24, 2021
This site is best viewed in 1280 x 800 screen
Supports IE 8.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Chrome 6.0+, Safari 4.0+
Secure Login Privacy Policy
Terms and Condition
 Contact Us: Telephone: +1(514)954-5753   Fax: +1(514)954-5826
 Email :