GCC to unify aviation regulations

Updated 22 January 2015

GCC to unify aviation regulations

A Gulf official has said that GCC countries are in the process of contracting with a specialized firm to study the unification of aviation regulations in order to alleviate airspace congestion in the region. Saif Al-Suwaidi, director general of UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said the study stems from a long term plan to unify aviation regulations, noting that many Gulf efforts were made in the past to address air routes’ congestions, and to put in place a common system to provide quality aviation services.
Al-Suwaidi said the European experience in this regard, under Europe’s ‘Eurocontrol’ system, clearly points toward the fact that air traffic and aviation services have greatly improved compared to the past twenty years before European countries agreed on unified aviation regulations.
He said that Gulf countries are now seriously thinking to achieve progress in this regard and to put in place a long-term plan that will lead in the end to the full unification of aviation regulations, or the unified virtual airspace of GCC countries. He said the study was thoroughly considered and a consultative firm has been selected to draft and explain elements of coordination and harmonization of the Gulf airspace.
Referring to the challenges that face Gulf airspace, Al-Suwaidi said that the most important challenge is the poor infrastructure in some countries, not only Gulf countries, due to the flow of air traffic from east and west Europe where Gulf countries have become a passage for such traffic.
“The insufficient and poor aviation infrastructure of some countries cause the airplanes to stay stuck and remain for longer periods in GCC countries,” he explained.
In a related subject he expected air ticket fares to drop soon because of the reduced costs of plane fuel. He added that the declining prices of plane fuel as a result of the declining oil prices will gradually be reflected in air fares, as oil prices dropped more than 60 percent in the past five months.


Expo to showcase Arab heritage in Italy

Updated 22 min 12 sec ago

Expo to showcase Arab heritage in Italy

RIYADH: Saudi tourism and culture chiefs have joined forces to stage a major exhibition in Italy showcasing the heritage of the Kingdom and the Arabian Peninsula.

Titled “Trade Routes in Arabian Peninsula: Masterpieces of the Monuments of Saudi Arabia through the Ages,” the expo will run for three months at the National Roman Museum in the Italian capital Rome from late October this year.

Organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in cooperation with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture, the cultural heritage display is one of the most important international Saudi exhibitions.