x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Airlines could face new licensing rules in the UAE

Airlines could face new licensing rules and more rigorous monitoring by the Civil Aviation Authority.

ABU DHABI // Airlines could face new licensing rules and more rigorous monitoring by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the authority, said a draft law replacing 25-year-old legislation includes rules that would allow monitoring and inspection of foreign carriers and their planes.

This would help to maintain safety standards but not disrupt airlines’ operations, Mr Al Suwaidi said.

“However, there is a lengthy process to change any law,” he said. “One of the processes is to discuss the draft to stakeholders and industries.

“It is very challenging to reach an agreement, it takes time. We faced some challenges. Now we raised the case to the Government.”

About 40 airline companies operate in the UAE, more than in any other Arab country.

Last year 12 carriers were instructed to cease operations in the UAE, nine of them from one country. Two others were stopped temporarily.

“We do random checks. We have a watch list of carriers that we have concerns with over safety and security,” Mr Al Suwaidi said.

“We focus on inspections to decide whether they can use our airspace or not. If they are below international standards, we block them.”

The law is awaiting Cabinet approval.

osalem@thenational.ae