A recent poll of industry leaders revealed that infrastructure, followed by product development, and human resources pose the greatest challenges to aviation growth in the Gulf region.
The results were generated by a survey of more than 100 industry delegates at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi last week.
The poll revealed that 69.8% of industry professionals believe that aviation infrastructure in their regions is not capable of handling increased capacity required to meet projected future demand.
This could lead to a wealth of missed opportunities given that the Middle East aerospace industry is set to grow at 36.4% over the next decade, faster than China or the Asia Pacific region.
A further 35.2% believe their industry’s growth is not supported and promoted by national governments, which overlook the economic benefits it brings.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive, said; “Our industries bring direct economic benefit through jobs and exports. And they are also often ‘multiplier’ businesses which stimulate far wider economic benefits through trade, tourism and associated growth.”
New markets and workforce development were also highlighted as the two key challenges facing aviation in the UAE.
According to the survey, 44.9% of industry professionals believe developing new products and new markets is their key challenge, while 22.4% believe workforce and human resource development is the primary issue.
Human capital development was a core theme of the Summit, and the survey showed clear concerns in this area. The two major issues are talent retention, and recruitment of new graduates with the correct skill set. A lesser concern was expressed over the ability to source appropriate training and development for existing staff.
Homaid Al Shemmari, chief executive officer of Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services, said; “Human capital development is one of the key challenges facing our industry today. That is true in developed markets, where other education and career choices are winning out against our industries, and in emerging markets, where education, training and on-job experience are all issues.”