Abu Dhabi International Airport’s growth can be attributed to Etihad Airways increasing frequencies and launching new destinations, as well as new airlines and additional services by existing carriers. Continued expansion of the route network reflects the dynamism and potential of the Abu Dhabi market. “Our airport is currently growing twice as fast as the average total world passenger traffic. As the capital is becoming increasingly attractive to business and leisure visitors, we continue to work closely with our airline partners to identify opportunities that would generate more traffic for our airport,” explained James E. Bennett, CEO, ADAC.
The airport will become the first major hub in the Middle East to benefit from the new IATA CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing Systems) passenger processing standard following an agreement with SITA to upgrade its AirportConnect CUTE check-in platform. SITA will also maintain more than 350 check-in counters, 24 self-service kiosks for multiple airline use, and upgrade the baggage reconciliation system across ADAC’s airports. “Abu Dhabi International Airport is committed to delivering the best possible services to our passengers and airline customers. We are pleased to partner with SITA in this upgrade of our passenger processing systems,” said Michael Ibbitson, ADAC Vice President Information and Communication Services. “Airlines in particular will appreciate our efforts to adopt the latest technology available that is developed by an organisation such as SITA, which took on the leading role in technology to implement the new IATA CUPPS standard. This pioneering system will eventually replace CUTE and we at ADAC want to be an early adopter as it will mean more efficient processes for passengers and lower operating costs for airlines.”
The aviation industry has targeted converting to 100% Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP) by the end of 2010 and Abu Dhabi International Airport adopted the system in July – six months ahead of schedule. It is the first major airport in the Middle East to achieve IATA’s Platinum Airport status for adopting 100% BCBP.
Bennett said: “Abu Dhabi Airports Company is proud to be spearheading the adoption of new technology in airports, as we engineer the best possible passenger experience. With this new technology we are paving the way for airlines to issue boarding passes to passengers’ mobile phones, providing further convenience and reducing the implicated environmental impact.”
The 2D bar coded boarding pass offers an alternative solution to queuing at check-in desks, as passengers are now able to get their boarding passes online or at the digital kiosks at the airport. This development is designed to provide passengers with more flexible and convenient services, enhancing their travel experience.
GCAS receives certification
ADAC’s pioneering training facility, the Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies (GCAS), has been awarded certification by the Department of Aviation Security & Infrastructure in the General Civil Aviation Authority for its facilities at Al Bateen Executive Airport to provide civil aviation security courses. These will be provided in line with the training guidelines legislated by the Civil Aviation Law of the UAE.
Mohammed Al Bulooki, General Manager Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies (GCAS) in ADAC, commented: “GCAS is offering a curriculum of high quality courses and training options at Al Bateen Executive Airport, a fully operational private jet airport. The Centre is fully committed to furthering the collective expertise and knowledge base in the aviation industry and aims to provide training solutions for all key aviation organisations in the region and the world.”
GCAS is the exclusive training provider for JAATO in the Gulf and Middle East region, and is the tenth certified training centre to provide ACI courses. In May 2010 it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kuwait Airways to exchange training expertise within the airline industry. GCAS has also announced a partnership agreement with the Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs department. As the premier aviation and airport training centre in the Middle East, it continues to promote international best practice in safety and security, and all other areas of airport operations.
GCAS will offer the global ACI-ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP) – the first global initiative of its kind to provide an international professional accreditation in airport management, and upon its successful completion participants earn the International Airport Professional Designation. 50 ADAC executives will go through the programme, starting in November 2010, highlighting the company’s commitment to investing in its human capital and in the development of the aviation industry in the region.
Dr Pierre Coutu, AMPAP Programme Executive, explained: “GCAS has earmarked a record-number of its managers for AMPAP and we are proud to provide them with our programme’s best-of-class curriculum. With the rapid expansion of the region’s airport infrastructure, there is a growing demand for highly-qualified management resources and our collaboration with GCAS is a strong testament to their commitment to top-notch, accreditation-based executive development.” The Centre is also now offering the Airport Executive Leadership Program (AELP) at its facilities at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi.
ADAC’s many exciting developments and continued growth in passenger traffic demonstrate the dynamism and potential of the emirate. In July, a 9.2% increase saw Abu Dhabi International Airport handle more than one million passengers in a single month for the first time. North American traffic rose by an impressive 76% year-on-year, followed by Southern Africa with a 27% increase and Europe up 15%. Such traffic growth is a reflection of the interest Abu Dhabi is attracting from international markets and its strength as a connecting hub between the East and the West.