The Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) would like the Arab world to implement a similar air management system to Europe, the secretary general of the AACO told Aviation Business.
Abdul Wahhab Teffaha was speaking to us ahead of AACO’s annual general meeting scheduled to take place on November 17-20 in Dubai.
“AACO believes that if applied in the Arab world, the harmonisation side of the Eurocontrol-model, will help a lot in easing part of the Air Traffic Management problem. We support following the model of the Europeans in terms of harmonisation, in terms of coordination of different airspaces, and in terms of creating joint traffic management flow systems,” said Teffaha. “We would welcome and encourage the Arab countries to follow that model.”
He added that he was under no illusion on the challenge such an implementation presented. “Now Europe also has a project called SESAR [Single European Sky ATM Research], which aims at unifying European airspace. This is also something that we support and want to have something similar in the Arab world. Although, we know the Europeans are late in doing the right thing to implement it, and I am sure in the Arab world it will be an even greater challenge.”
Teffaha said that although there was an improvement in Air Traffic Management over the past year, the organisation would be trying to keep the momentum going at the AGM
Additional discussions on the agenda of the AGM taking place at the Intercontinental in Festival City, Dubai includes safety and security.
“The incidents that happened to Malaysia Airline warrant the attention of the industry as a whole in order to put measures like making sure flights can be tracked throughout the journey, and not giving way to anything that will remove an aircraft from the ability of being tracked,” says Teffaha. “Of course this needs a lot of work between stakeholders: airlines and manufacturers, and even governments.
“And on the second front: how can airlines exchange information with governments and other stakeholders to make sure that the routes operated by airlines are free from danger. The airline industry is not supposed to be tangled in any conflict. Governments in specific will need to make sure that air corridors are safe, flyable and if there is any threat, then this threat needs to be communicated to everyone, so that airlines will be able to take the decision that they feel is correct.”
Taffaha also added that AACO would be discussing how to work together with various governments through the International Civil Aviation Organization to be able to arrive at a harmonised global system for the environment and passenger rights. “The fragmentation of regulations between countries is not good for the customer, for the environment nor for the airline,” he said.
At its 47th AGM, AACO will bring together the heads of its member airlines, in addition to partners, media representatives and other industry stakeholders.