Civil aviation sector provides job security for young adults

DUBAI, 23rd February, 2015 (WAM) — Laila bin Hareb, the General Civil Aviation Authority Assistant Director-General of Strategy and International Affairs, has held a lecture at Hult International Business School in Dubai as part of the authority’s efforts in raising awareness about the UAE aviation industry amongst students in order to attract young adults to work within the sector.

Laila bin Hareb said, “The civil aviation industry plays a crucial role with regards to the country’s growth, national economy and national development plans, as well as has direct impact the aviation sector on tourism, trade and investment.” She added that the air transport industry supports 58.1 million jobs globally and directly creates 8.7 million jobs, while airlines, airports and air navigation service providers employ 7.6 million people. In 2013, there were 1,397 commercial airlines, 25,332 commercial aircrafts using 3,864 airports and making 36.4 million commercial flights worldwide.

The air transport industry in the Middle East directly generated an estimated 356,000 jobs in 2012. 149,000 of those (42% of the total) were in jobs for airlines or handling agents. Another 21,000 people, representing 6% of the total, worked for airport operators, such as airport management, maintenance, security and operations. 179,000 jobs (50%) were on-site in airports, at retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, etc..

She added, “The number of jobs supported by aviation and tourism will grow to 4.4 million by 2032, which is a 117% increase from 2012. Meanwhile, the contribution to GDP is forecast to grow to US$341 billion by 2032, tripling the 2012 figure.” She also pointed out that the UAE has four national carriers: Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia and flydubai, as well as 10 airports including five international ones, two in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi, one in Sharjah and one in Ras al-Khaimah. The airports are accessed by 173 scheduled airlines. The UAE has a superb aviation infrastructure and ranked second in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Report 2014 sub index for Quality of Air Transport Infrastructure.

Regarding international cooperation, bin Hareb explained that the UAE had established 166 Air Services Agreements in total by the end of 2014, including 86 Open Skies Agreements.

She concluded, “The GCAA is eager to attract qualified students. In our outreach programme, we raise the awareness about the various jobs the aviation sector provides. The rapid growth that this sector has experienced in recent years has enabled several new jobs for our citizens and is in line with the country’s strategy concerning localisation of jobs.”