The aviation sector contributed 15 per cent to the country’s GDP in 2018, according to Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Al Suwaidi said the UAE has invested an estimated $270 billion (AED1trn) in the aviation sector, which includes improvements to airport infrastructure and a fleet of 884 commercial aircraft.
In an interview with UAE news agency WAM, Al Suwaidi said GCAA is replanning routes to neighbouring countries that will increase airspace capacity and generate annual financial savings of $14 million (AED50m) for airline companies.
The GCAA chief said passenger traffic across all UAE airports is expected to increase at a rate of 5.2 per cent (142m passengers).
UAE accounts for 45 per cent of the Arab aviation sector, which takes into consideration the number of passengers and aircraft capacity, and the addition of up to five aircraft each month to the UAE’s four carriers.
He said the UAE registered a total of 6,438 drones this year, with each recorded on the GCAA’s unified e-platform.