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Dubai Airports CEO cites need for global perspective and pro-aviation policy

10-Jun-2010 11:33 AM

UAE's Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, cited the need for a global perspective on aviation and a global pro-aviation policy, commenting in a speech to the UK Aviation Club, "it’s clear the current model is completely and utterly broken" (Khaleej Times, 10-Jun-2010). Mr Griffiths also cited three factors behind Dubai’s success in pro-aviation government policy, industry-government partnership and a vision that embraces the changing industry dynamics driven by globalisation. He said aviation generates 25% of Dubai’s GDP but added that most governments "treat aviation as a pariah and choke its growth with costly, misdirected regulation and parasitic forms of taxation". He also stressed the need for greater collaboration, information sharing and use of existing technologies across the aviation value chain to streamline airport processes, improve the customer experience and boost retail revenues.

Dubai Airports: “Airlines worldwide have lost some USD50 billion since 2001. It’s clear the current model is completely and utterly broken. As we work to repair it, Dubai’s approach can provide some valuable insight ... Most governments around the world treat aviation as a pariah and choke its growth with costly, misdirected regulation and parasitic forms of taxation whose revenues usually flow straight out of the sector. Sadly the UK Government is top in class in this regard. The Air Passenger Duty serves only to pad the Treasury’s coffers. And its recent decision to stop the construction of a third runway at Heathrow effectively snuffs out the considerable economic growth aviation can drive in an already beleaguered economy. Dubai has done the exact opposite ... Almost 50% of the time a customer spends at an airport is absorbed by cumbersome and non-commercial processes - at an opportunity cost as high as USD35 billion per annum. This lost revenue ultimately stems from a chronic lack of trust and cooperation between airlines, airports and retailers. It’s high time for all parties to acknowledge their inter-dependence and leverage their strengths. This could lead to an environment where the travel retail industry records greater profits, airports fund themselves entirely from non-aeronautical income and airlines are relieved of the burden of airport charges,"  Paul Griffiths, CEO. Source: Khaleej Times, 10-Jun-2010.