Traffic in UAE airspace up nearly 9% in first quarter

Al Maktoum International Airport


The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced yesterday growth of nearly 9 per cent in air movements in UAE airspace during the first quarter of 2011.

Al Maktoum International AirportAir traffic in the first three months of the year was 167,221, compared to 153,387 during the same period last year.

The GCAA also announced high growth rates in March 2011 compared to last February and to March last year.

This growth was noted in all air activities and operations, including air safety, security and infrastructure, air transport, licensing, aeromedical and many transactions in relation to civil aviation and associated operations in the UAE.

The GCAA’s monthly report for March showed that UAE air traffic movements rose to 58,553 — an increase of almost 14 per cent compared to last February.

Average daily traffic

Average daily air traffic in March was 1,889, an increase of 8.9 per cent compared to 1,734 in the same period last year.

Dubai ranked first with 26,276 flights, or almost 44.9 per cent of the UAE’s total.

Abu Dhabi ranked third with 8,310 flights, or 14.2 per cent of UAE air traffic in March.

Air traffic at Sharjah International Airport ranked fourth with 5,566, or 9.5 per cent of UAE air traffic.

Local flights between UAE airports were in fifth position with 4,837, or 8.2 per cent of air traffic.

Fujairah International Airport had 347 flights, and Al Ain Airport and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport had 169 and 318 air traffic movements respectively.

Al Maktoum International Airport had 183 movements. The four airports together represented 1.7 per cent of UAE air traffic movements last month. The report indicated that as far as air safety is concerned, the GCAA issued and renewed 19 certificates for aircraft maintenance companies, nine aircraft registration certificates and 43 airworthiness certificates.


Further, the GCAA conducted 42 inspections and audits, issued five air operator certificates, completed five aircraft modification transactions, issued 12 simulator certificates and 20 examination permits.

Four foreign aircraft and one air operator were suspended and 55 aviation incidents were reported.

The GCAA conducted 18 inspections and audits of hazardous material shippers, prepared 220 airport control tower reports, and held 48 meetings regarding security and infrastructure.

Flights in the UAE: The breakdown

  • 26,276 flights recorded in Dubai in first quarter
  • 14.2% portion of UAE air traffic in Abu Dhabi