The aviation sector in Qatar is the key towards boosting the Qatari economy, and has contributed immensely in improving the economic growth through creation of new jobs in sectors such as trade, tourism, and industry, said Essa Abdullah Al Maliki, the Permanent Representative at Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to ICAO.
Speaking to an International Airport Review Magazine, Essa Abdullah Al Malike mentioned that the civil aviation sector in Qatar is seeing a giant leap ahead and that the industry is achieving continuous growth due to the joint efforts of all stakeholders.
As for the Hamad International Airport, Al Maliki said that the airport has grown to be the best in the world in terms of efficiency, service and passenger comfort. It is now a major hub, having served 35million passengers last year, and is now witnessing 222000 annual movements. The airport has a 600,000 sqm passenger terminal and the largest maintenance hangar in the world. The airport will ultimately handle over 50 million passengers, 320,000 aircraft movements and 2million tonnes of cargo on annual basis.
The Qatar Airways has won awards as the best in the world, while Hamad International Airport is being rated in the top five consistently, he pointed out.
When asked about the reason for Qatar to seek election in the governing Council of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), Al Maliki said that being a member of ICAO since 1971, Qatar has decided to seek election to the Council for the first time under Part III. Qatar is committed to the organization, its mission, objectives and principles, as it aims to provide safe and sustainable development of international civil aviation, establishment of air transport services based on non-discrimination, sound and economical operations.
These principles have benefitted Qatar and fellow ICAO member states, especially the smaller states for whom air transport offers essential connectivity to rest of the world, and is a necessity for economic development.
He further said that over the past 30 years, Qatar has developed a strong, modern aviation sector, and this has enabled Qatar to acquire the knowledge and experience to make major contribution to the governance of international civil aviation as a Council Member, and has the potential to find solutions to various challenges that the sector faces.
He further pointed out that Qatar and ICAO have worked together in the past too in numerous areas, including in the field of aviation safety, security and environment.
Al Maliki also said that in June 2019, the CAA, together with cyber-security affairs of the Ministry of Transport and Communication released Aviation Cyber Security Guidelines, which included principles and standards relating to securing critical aviation systems, apart from best practices in electronic security in the field.
The issuance of these guidelines is in line with ICAO recommendations that require all member states to apply such standards and measures and to continue cooperation and mutual support at national and global levels.
Last year, the Qatar-ICAO Developing Countries Programme offered five free scholarships for studies in several aviation fields, and this was aimed to augment the capabilities of developing countries to meet ICAO standards. The programme will be renewed this year and will accept fresh students.
Qatar has trained more than 2000 professionals from 80 countries and territories since 1986 and has awarded over 400 fellowships in the past 20 years to professionals from developing states. Also, last year, Qatar hosted the fifth ICAO Global Training Symposium.
Al Maliki concluded by saying Qatar has made major voluntary financial contributions to the ‘No Country Left Behind’ ICAO initiative, and other such ICAO programmes. In fact, Qatar is one of the active contributors to ICAO, with a recent ICAO report having ranked Qatar at the 18th position among countries that support ICAO the most.