x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

UAE considers new air laws

The Government plans to adopt changes to its air and space laws enacted in 1991 and is considering using European or American standards.

The Government plans to adopt changes to its air and space laws enacted in 1991 and is considering using European or US standards as a benchmark, civil aviation administrators say. On the eve of an air and space law conference being hosted in the Emirates next week, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it planned amendments to the laws but did not say when they would be made. Great changes have swept over the aviation industry since the laws were created. In 1991, Emirates Airline was only six years old and it would be another 12 years before Abu Dhabi and Sharjah launched their own airlines. "From time to time you need to review and amend your law and this is what we are going to do," said Saif al Suwaidi, the director general of the GCAA, while cautioning that "how soon has not yet been decided". He added that the authority was reviewing the standards imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency. "We are now in the final stages of deciding whether to go with the FAA or EASA." The UAE's aviation regulations will take centre stage next week when the GCAA hosts the International Conference and Workshop on Air Transport, Air Space Law and Regulation. The event, to be held at the Officers Club in Abu Dhabi between Sunday and Thursday, will be co-hosted by McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law. A workshop will take place from Sunday to Tuesday while the conference is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. The conference will discuss liberalising air transport regimes to pursue an "open-skies" policy such as the one adopted by the UAE, as well as the region's adoption of the Cape Town Convention, an international treaty governing the ownership and repossession of aircraft. Also on the agenda is reducing noise pollution and fighting greenhouse gas emissions, along with the growth of aviation markets. The event will include discussions and presentations from sponsoring entities including Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, the Armed Forces, Emirates Aviation Association, Royal Jet, Horizon International Flight Academy and Boeing. igale@thenational.ae

"From time to time you need to review and amend your law and this is what we are going to do," said Saif Mohammed al Suwaidi (ck), the director general of the GCAA, while cautioning that "how soon has not yet been decided." He added that the GCAA was reviewing the standards set forth by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency. "We are now in the final stages of deciding whether to go with the FAA or EASA," he said.

The UAE's aviation regulations will take centre stage next week when the GCAA hosts the International Conference & Workshop on Air Transport, Air Space Law and Regulation between April 12 and 16. The event will be held at the Officers Club in Abu Dhabi and will be co-hosted by McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law. The conference will discuss liberalising air transport regimes to pursue an "Open Skies" policy such as the one adopted by the UAE, as well as the region's adoption of the Cape Town Convention, an international treaty governing the ownership and repossession of aircraft. Also on the agenda is reducing noise pollution and fight green house gas emissions, along with the growth of aviation markets.

The event will include discussions and presentations from sponsoring entities including Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, the Armed Forces, Emirates Aviation Association, Royal Jet, Horizon International Flight Academy and Boeing. igale@thenational.ae