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MARCH 14th 2023
The Arab Aviation Summit, 2023 held at the Al-Hamra International and Exhibition Center from March 14-16, 2023 became center stage to discussions regarding the reduction of carbon emissions in the aviation sector, especially in the UAE.
With a theme focusing on sustainability and its immediate effect on travel and tourism as well as aviation innovations on the horizon, RAKDCA initiative for sustainability was greatly appreciated.
The development of the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to achieve the most cost effective methods to decrease emissions substantially in the aviation, travel and tourism sectors with trends and foreseeable future of airports was integral to discussions that were debated in great length and provided some viable options to move forward.
The UAE will host the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November 2023, to bring the world to agree on rational and determined steps for addressing the need of the hour, that is the climate change and its effects on our fragile planet. This is something that not only world leaders have to take in to account immediately, but for all members of society, who need to contribute towards the reversal of such dangerous and disastrous chain of global calamities. This conference will make sure that a clear plan of action is prepared and followed.
In addition to this, the General Civil Aviation Authority in coordination with RAKDCA have activated a specialized work team with the aim of supporting the hosting process, and highlighting the efforts and progress of the aviation sector in the field of climate change at the COPA 28 event in November, 2023.
H.E. Engr. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Civil Aviation and Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport, board member of General Civil Aviation Authority & RAK Executive Council stated: “Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport welcomed 340,000 passengers and a cargo movement of 3,500 tons last year. New airlines are showing a keen interest in the development and growth of Ras Al-Khaimah emirate. European charters, Indigo Airlines from India, Azur Air from Russia and Centrum Air from Uzbekistan are the new entrants into Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport to enhance tourism activities, while Air Arabia manages to increase its network and serves cities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other regional sectors. Vaayu group is launching its new fleet of A320 P2F for leasing at our airport. They will also be able to provide many other services like flight training & MROs. Action Flight is a New Zealand based company with hot air balloon and parachuting activities to entice the tourists and residents of RAK. With the announcement of Qatar Airways starting their operation out of RAK in November of this year, it will connect all over the world for residents, travelers and investors. A first of its kind, Vports, an advanced air mobility project is being established at the Airport that is aligned with Ras Al-Khaimah emirate’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040 which coincides with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah, to achieve at least a 30% savings in electricity consumption and a 20% contribution from renewable energy by 2040. We are in the process of signing various MOUs followed by press conferences and announcements at the Arab Aviation Summit.
As we move in to unprecedented growth, and as operations and tour operators increase at the airport, we will see more hotels, shopping malls, free zone activity and many other elements creating the emirate of choice in the process. To be at par with the ambitions of the emirate, an extensive expansion program including passenger terminal building, public transport infrastructure, duty free shopping, corporate aviation areas and cargo terminal will be underway to make room for the growing demands originating from all over the world.
This growth and development brings it all together, as RAKDCA’s prominent role within the COPA 28, GCAA initiative and the Arab Aviation Summit is geared towards a monumental moment in history. We are seeing a deep concern and the ambition to rectify the damage through concrete steps taken by members of society as well as world leaders. The Arab Aviation Summit has provided us a platform for detailed discussions on pragmatic solutions for the aviation industry’s role in reducing carbon emissions and providing future generations with a planet they can be proud of. I pledge my necessary support in all its local, regional and global initiatives to enable, develop and grow sustainability in the country and beyond. Through constructively working together, we will be able to bring about positive change in the climate issue, become a global center for a sustainable and green economy.”
Ralf Schustereder, CEO, Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport stated “Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport expects significant growth of passenger numbers through its new acquisitions of Qatar Airways, IndiGo Airlines, growing Air Arabia number of flights and expected charter tourism flights. Accommodating this growth, enhancing passenger service level and addressing passenger needs, Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport will refurbish its departure and arrival terminals in 2023.”
In addition, Stanislav Bujnovsky, CCO, Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport announced proudly, “A newly announced Qatar Airways daily flights to our airport will connect the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah to vast world-wide network of Qatar Airways and thereby boosting tourism and business. The airport is becoming a main gateway to the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah and a driver of economic growth.”
Ralf Schustereder clearly expressed “We constantly seek new opportunities and innovative business models. Therefore, we welcome signature of MOU with ambitious and futuristic project of Vports. Great cooperation with the Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority is resulting into more and more charter flights coming to our airport to satisfy the increasing demand and development of tourism in the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah. In terms of cargo, Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport takes pride into specializing in growing live-animal cargo flights with three different airlines bringing live-animal flights to our specialized facilities.
 A very thorough and ambitious cargo project with Vaayu group will start a new cargo transshipment project at our airport with basing of up to 6 cargo aircrafts in the next 5 years. We believe with all the new development and all stakeholders support, there is a bright future for Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport.
Despite all the activities and exploring various options, one clear target is there for our aviation world, that is mandatory and needs attention and therefore solutions: how to minimize the emissions footprint and take clear commitment for sustainability. The projects just recently identified and for 2023 scheduled will give us at the end almost 40% savings on the P&L.”

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