In the light of celebrating Emirati Women’s day, The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE announced conducting a specialized training course to encourage and support the prominent role of females in the aviation sector. The three day training course titled ‘Strategic Planning and Innovation in Aviation’ took place in the Jumeirah Creek Side Hotel from the 24th to the 26th of September 2017. The course was led by Ms. Laila Bin Hareb, Assistant Director General for Strategy & International Affairs Sector in GCAA.Various topics were covered in the mentioned course, including the application of Strategic planning processes and concepts in the field of civil aviation, innovation, strategy development and implementation, in addition to corporate performance management.
H.E Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA stated that: “The Aviation industry is one of the main contributors to the national economy of the UAE, therefore strategic planning plays a pivotal role to ensure the integration of roles with consideration of changes in the context of a cohesive plan to ensure its sustained growth and alignment with the National Vision 2021”.
The UAE’s aviation industry witnesses rapid growth. It is mentioned that the UAE has one of the fastest growing international Airlines and its airports are one of the world’s busiest international airports. Furthermore, the fleet size of Emirates Airlines grew from 206 aircrafts in 2013 to 252 aircrafts in 2016, while the fleet size of Air Arabia grew from 29 in 2013 aircrafts to 35 aircrafts in 2016.In addition to that, the fleet size of Flydubai grew from 32 aircrafts in 2013 to 51 aircrafts in 2016. The number of Open Skies agreements signed by GCAA, grew from 81 in 2013 to 92 in 2016.By the end of 2016 the total number of Air Services Agreements reached 160 agreements.
In the next 20 years, the UAE’s aviation sector is expected to compete with The United States and China, according to industry experts. Also, the aviation industry is expected to contribute $53 million (Dh 194.5 billion DHS) to the country’s economy in the year 2020, providing up to 750,000 jobs for both genders.
Ms. Laila stated : “There is no doubt that the aviation sector is set to continue its rapid growth in the next few years and we seek to build an industry that supports and contributes in developing individuals both men and women alike. We strive to train members to work in several administrative and technical jobs through our initiatives to offer an opportunity for women in a dynamic growing sector and a pioneering career path that is continuously evolving in the region.”
Overall, the GCAA seeks to enhance the capabilities of the aviation sector to contribute towards the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy by promoting innovation, supporting research and development, strengthening the regulatory framework and encouraging investment.
Innovation is the practical application of new ideas and suggestions, not only to transform them into marketable products or services, but to also process, structure, and initiate ways to approach and interact with customers. In this context, GCAA has placed a comprehensive framework for innovation that includes a clear innovation policy, governance model and innovation strategy, all aimed at building the pillars of innovation which consists of inputs and outputs.
Since GCAA is aware of the importance of strategic planning to achieve these goals, several qualitative and quantitative techniques were included to analyze the internal and external environment. Some of these techniques are (PEST, SWOT and Brainstorming Workshops).These techniques help us develop a clear understanding of the current and future direction of the industry, improve its performance, understand the future challenges and to plan ahead the future.