The General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates submitted the Aviation Environmental State Action Plan to ICAO in Montreal, Canada. The detailed and comprehensive version of the plan comes after the first version was submitted in 2012.
His Excellency Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Chairman, General Civil Aviation Authority, said, “Today, more than ever the importance of the environment and its direct impact on the economic growth and the future of the next generation is recognized. It is our belief that in collaboration with international organizations we should work towards reducing the environmental impact of aviation. ICAO has shown a tremendous effort in providing capacity building, following with the state number of projects and setting future coming systems, and we as a state member believe on the vital role of this organization to support the growth of the sector”.
In addition, GCAA has delivered the plan to the Minister of Climate Change and Environment to be utilized as a reference for the future strategies and plans for the State.
His Excellency Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minster of Climate Change and Environment, said: “We welcome the second edition of the Aviation Environmental State Action Plan. It is a valuable initiative to promote a more sustainable aviation sector in the country.
“The UAE is a leading player in international aviation and a global model for sustainable aviation, with high level of service standards. The efforts of the GCAA have enhanced the sector’s competitiveness and created a clear roadmap for carriers and other stakeholders to follow and become sustainable in order to reduce their operations’ impact on the environment. ”His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General, General Civil Aviation Authority said, “UAE has shown effective engagement in the work of ICAO in past years towards the achievements of the environmental objectives, especially climate change. We are continuing our support in this and following our leaders who set reducing the environmental impact as one of the top objectives of the State”.
He continued, “Formulating and agreeing to the state action plan required thorough planning given the structure of the sector and the operation sensitivity we have in the UAE. The team was able to finish the document and the review in 2016, and another round of review was concluded recently in 2018 before the content was endorsed. The document covers a baseline of the 2012 plan, based on historical data and a forecast of the growth emission until 2050.
In order to develop the previously submitted 2012 outline, the UAE has formed a working group consisting of all the key strategic stakeholders from the government, airlines, airports, developers, concerned ministries and carbon sectors who started the work on the detailed and comprehensive version from 2013 until today.
In addition, several seniors were set to show how the sector could invest in number of new projects to reduce this impact. Similarly, the plans show number of high contribution of the sectors in important ongoing projects as well plan to improve the emission level and to be efficient. The project was also another learning process for us to understand the future challenges and the set of the projects and the team in the future to produce the third version of the SAP will review plans.
As a matter of pride, UAE was selected from the Middle East Region to be part of the small-scale testing project amongst other six States. This project which spanned over a period of six months enabled two carriers, namely flyDubai and Air Arabia, to review their internal procedures, and adjust their systems to be able to do all the monitoring requirements. The capacity building training provided by ICAO and the Government of Germany was essential to meet the needs and requirements of Governments, including the UAE, to have the infrastructure ready, when it comes to the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
The UAE has undergone an environmental renaissance in recent years. Environmental awareness is high on the agenda and reminders are constant of our obligation to the natural world, and more so in particular the sensitive environment of the southern Gulf. The task of putting into practice what is enshrined in laws, backed by monitoring and strict enforcement, is now being addressed. The UAE is striving to keep the balance and ensuring that resources are used both sustainably and equitably, while at the same time maintaining a place for nature.
Since 2010, the UAE has established internally the Aviation Environment Working Group to ensure that the environmental aspects are in our top priorities and agenda, nationally and internationally. This Working Group has expanded considerably in the last few years to be able to meet the challenges and the requirements. The State Action Plan Task Force and the CORSIA Task Force, for example, are two of the important task forces that ensure our engagement in the discussion and important elements of this process.
The UAE was able to gain a membership of Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) council in 2016. This prestigious membership enables the UAE to gain a vital role in the upcoming new projects, legislation and activities. The UAE has worked with experts that were nominated in the last six years in different groups to provide the required technical support for the work of CAEP , including the work of CORSIA, which is one of the emerging issues.