Aviation in a Smart City
The UAE’s aviation sector now contributes around 15 percent to the country’s GDP. A report says the total investment in the sector is expected to exceed AED1 trillion within the next two decades, nearly doubling from the current value that’s between AED500 billion and AED600 billion. The ongoing airport developments in the UAE have been valued at a total of AED85 billion to increase the airports’ capacity to 300 million passengers per year.
As the aviation gains unfaltering momentum, we have been working in ensuring that the industry remains on the right tracks. We are working in line with the Dubai’s vision of becoming a smart city. An impressive line-up of services have already been made online with wider acceptance by the industry players. We have revamped the rules and regulations in line with the changing times and need.
Two projects worth mentioning as standing out. We just implemented the Skytrax anti-drone system to monitor registered drones and prevent them from causing cost-heavy shutdowns at Dubai airports. No other city has perhaps worked as hard to monitor and prevent rogue drone activity. The DCAA monitors drones in real-time, 24 hours a day.
We are also working on self-flying taxis. Dubai has already tested the world’s first self-flying taxi. The first “proof of concept flight” of the new two-seater, self-flying taxi or Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) will help the launch of the world’s first self-flying taxi service across the city. The RTA will collaborate with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the DCAA to ensure that the operational requirements for implementing AAT services are put in place.
Dubai is well-poised to be a leader among 177 other Smart Cities. The emirate had been the world’s top three model smart cities, pioneering in different public and private services to make the emirate the happiest city on earth. The UAE has the smartest cities in the MENA region, as stated by a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. The amazing growth highlights our enlarged role and responsibilities as aviation remained in focus by the government. We hope that by 2020 Dubai will be the Number One aviation capital of the world.
Mohammed Abdulla Ahli