Abu Dhabi May 3 2023: Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has announced that the number of passengers travelling through the country's airports during the first quarter of 2023 increased by 56.3% compared to the same period in 2022. This increase indicates the success of the aviation sector in restoring pre-Covid-19 passenger traffic levels.
In a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Suwaidi said that during Q1 2023, the number of passengers through the UAE's airports reached approximately 31,862,635, an increase of more than 11.48 million passengers from the same period in 2022, where about 20,381,324 passengers were recorded.
The GCAA Director-General emphasised that the UAE civil aviation sector has managed to restore pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels. He explained that the numbers recorded in the first quarter confirm global confidence in the country's civil aviation sector and its ability to recover and achieve growth.
Al Suwaidi also expressed his expectations for the continued growth of air traffic in the UAE's airports this year, thanks to the achievements of the aviation sector. He highlighted the successes of the civil aviation sector in the classification of three national low-cost carriers - Air Arabia, flydubai, and Wizz Air - among the world's top 20 safest low-cost airlines.
Furthermore, Al Suwaidi stated that the national airlines' number of destinations reached about 536, including joint destinations. He also mentioned that the UAE has registered 894 Organisation/Operators (Professional use) and around 21,321 registered unmanned aircraft for leisure (hobby) with the GCAA by the end of Q1 2023.
The Director-General explained that the UAE had implemented a comprehensive legislative and regulatory system to keep pace with the unmanned aircraft sector, ensuring that these aircraft comply with technical specifications to ensure safe use according to specified regulations and conditions.
Al Suwaidi highlighted the significance of registering and issuing the necessary operational approvals for both hobbyists and commercial use in accordance with the specified legislative frameworks.
He further added that the size of investments in the UAE's civil aviation sector was more than approximately one trillion dirhams, while the size of investments in the development and expansion of airports reached AED85 billion to accommodate over 300 million passengers annually.
He noted that the aviation sector in the country contributes about 14% of the gross domestic product, while in major countries, the aviation sector's contribution does not exceed 2 to 3%. Moreover, the UAE owns environmentally friendly aircraft and is one of the few countries that outlines the future of the environment in the international civil aviation sector.