Air Transport Department

The DGCA’s Air Transport Department Has Wide-Ranging Responsibilities And Is Constantly Developing Innovative Solutions To The Changes Generated By The Dynamic Middle East Region. Air Traffic Is Already Reflecting The Increased Economic Vitality Of Kuwait, With KIA Handling Almost 5.4 Million Passengers In 2005 – Up 7% On The Previous Year.

Current Forecasts Show Average Growth Soaring By Around 10% Per Annum In Passenger Numbers With Cargo Traffic Growing At 6-7%. Air Carriers, Encouraged By he DGCA Took The Important Next Step In The Development Of Kuwait’s Air Transport Market With The Implementation Of A New Policy Liberalising All Bilateral Arrangements Governing Air Traffic Operations With Other Countries – Effectively Opening Up The Skies For Air Traffic To And From Kuwait International Airport.

 

This New “Open Skies” Policy, Which Applies To Both Passenger And Cargo Operations, Forms An Essential Part Of The Kuwait Government’s Latest Initiative To Promote The State As A Major Centre For Financial, Commercial And Economic Activities In The Gulf Region. While KIA Is Already Well-Served – More Than 50 Airlines Currently Connect Kuwait Directly With Over 100 Destinations Around The Globe – There Is Considerable Scope For Expansion.

 

The Air Transport Department Is Aware That In The Interests Of Competition And A Healthy Market, All Airlines Need To Have The Opportunity To Grow. Actively Encouraging More Airlines To Explore The Opportunities Available Will Help To Ensure Future Traffic Growth At KIA. It Also Means A Greater Choice For The Travelling Public And Cargo Shippers, Enabling Them To Select The Most Convenient Carrier. The New “Open Skies” Policy Goes Hand-In-Hand With The DGCA’s Updating Of The Airport Master Plan Designed To Cater For Expected Traffic Growth Over The Next 50 Years.

 

The Far-Sighted Scheme Aims To Further Diversify And Expand The Airport’s Facilities, Already Amply Illustrated By The New Commercial Centre, And Includes Impressive Plans For The Renovation Of The Existing Passenger Terminal, A Second Inter-Connected 85,000 M2 Terminal, An Expanded Cargo Complex, Extensions To Both Existing Runways And An Additional Third Runway. Future Developments Across The State Will Only Serve To Intensify Airline Interest, With Numerous New-Build Five-Star Hotels, Conference And Entertainment Facilities Adding Momentum To The Anticipated Surge In Both Business And Leisure Tourism.

Traffic From European And US Destinations Is Expected To Be A Big Growth Area Although Inbound Traffic Will Continue To Be Dominated By India And The Sub-Continent, Courtesy Of Large Expatriate Communities In Kuwait.

 

Outbound Traffic Is Also Growing, With Southeast Asia Expected To Enjoy The Biggest Increase. Such Is The Expectation Surrounding The Future Prospects Of The Kuwaiti Air Travel Market That The Government Has Already Approved The Establishment Of Three New Private-Sector Airlines. One, The Low-Cost Carrier, Jazeera Airways, Began Operations In October 2005 Flying A320s To Key Middle East Business And Leisure Destinations, Including Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Damascus And Dubai.

The Second Is Full-Service Passenger Airline, Kuwait National Airlines Company With The Third A Purecargo Carrier, Loadair. The DGCA Anticipates That Its New, Liberalised Air Transport Policy Will Create The Strong Competition Necessary For A Dynamic Market, Raising Service Standards, Stimulating New Frequencies And Destinations, And Encouraging The Development Of New Market Sectors.

 

In Fact, KIA Is Already Experiencing Some Tangible Results. Within Weeks Of The “Open Skies” Implementation A Number Of Existing Carriers – Including Emirates, Qatar Airways And Gulf Air – Increased Their Frequencies, While New Arrival Jordan Aviation Inaugurated Service Between Kuwait And The Red Sea Resort Of Aqaba.