Sheikh Ahmed: Dubai has successfully transformed innovation into a working culture in the government

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Mohammed Ahli: Our airports are gearing up to serve up to 146 million passengers by 2025
Airport authorities perform one million security checks every day
Via Dubai Security Supplement features Angela Gittens of ACI and Michael Herrero of IATA

Cover Page – Via Dubai December

Dubai: Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Chairman of Dubai Airports, said Dubai has successfully transformed innovation into a working culture in the government and a daily practice.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of Dubai World Central Corporation, added: “We want to go further in the innovation path to earn the epithet of being the most innovative country and people.”

In his message in the just-released December edition of Via Dubai, the official bilingual publication of DCAA, he said it’s a matter of pride that the UAE has become a global innovation platform, a top investment destination and a key magnet for the best minds and professionals in the world.

“This we achieved by embracing innovation as a work culture and lifestyle to build a knowledge-based community led by forward-thinking innovators who support the UAE’s progress and strengthen its international position,” he said.

The publication ran a Special Supplement on airport security in its December, 2016 issue, which featured exclusive interviews with Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Angela Gittens, Director General of Airport Council International (ACI), Michael Herrero, Area Manager, Gulf Area, IATA, and Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, the organisers of the Airport Show.

Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) said: “Our two international airports are gearing up to serve up to 146 million passengers by 2025 and there will be corresponding huge expansion in related fields in the aviation sector. This necessitates the need for ensuring safety and security for all stakeholders, passengers, airlines and the general public. We are fully prepared to face this challenge by adopting advanced technology and deploying trained personnel for the job.”

Major General Ahmad bin Thani, Assistant Commander for Seaports and Airport Affairs at Dubai Police said Dubai airport authorities are in the process of selecting technology companies to provide and implement the latest technology to ensure total security at airports.

“Dubai International Airport is now the world’s busiest in terms of passenger numbers. In future, we will put in place the latest technology to handle more than 100 million passengers a year by 2020. Dubai airports keep very high standard in security, measuring up to international standards and deploy the best technology and human resources to handle over 250,000 passengers per day,” he told Via Dubai.

“What airports are currently witnessing are attacks on crowds and thus require an approach that aims to reduce crowding and queueing,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI.

“We cannot approach the security screening regimen the way we have now because large queues and crowds are always the targets of attackers. ACI has a different way of approaching security screening in a more risk-based manner, that is, we look at the risk profile on a technological perspective to make the process better and more secure. We are looking at those countries that have introduced risk-based measures like the US which has different levels of screening,” she added.

“The use of remote check-in options, home-printed or permanent bag tags should be encouraged as a means of ensuring landside security at airports,” Michael Herrero, Area Manager, Gulf Area, IATA, said suggesting a number of measures that can be taken to improve landside security based on reducing crowds and queues.

“Efficiency should be ensured for moving passengers quicker through immigration, baggage scanners and to the aircraft, all without compromising on security. Airports are more active than ever in adopting new and smart technologies and they are reaping the benefits with enhanced efficiencies, happier passengers,” said Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on industry and governments to work together in an even stronger partnership to provide durable solutions to aviation’s security challenges.

The issue also has exclusive opinion articles by Michael Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, and Angela Gittens, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI).