Global Airport Leaders Forum at Dubai to focus on digital transformation

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF) will be held for the 8th time at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 24 to 26 after being conducted in digital format in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The much-anticipated aviation industry gathering will see 50-plus speakers address the audience, both physically and online, as a co-located event of the 20th edition of Airport Show, the world’s largest airport industry business-to-business event.

Mr. Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and Major General Mr. Khalifa Ibrahim Al Saleis, CEO of the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), which was established in 2016 to ensure Dubai’s safety and security, will be speaking virtually.

Despite worldwide travel limitations, the collocated show will take place over 12,000 square meters of exhibition space, with participants expected from at least 90 countries when global aviation returns to normalcy. ATC Forum and Airport Security are two other co-located events, as are new conferences focusing on Airport Passengers’ Experience and Airport Digital Transformation.

This will be the largest hybrid gathering of airport industry players since the COVID-19 pandemic severely devastated the whole aviation industry, taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

Mr. Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organizers of the Airport Show stated that GALF-2021 will assist airports and other aviation industry players in understanding and preparing for enhancing safety, widening efficiency and improving profitability.

Mr. Stefano Baronci, Director General for Asia-Pacific, Mr. Dimitri Coll, Vice President of Airport Customer Experience, and Mr. Gary Leung, Manager for Security and Facilitation for Asia-Pacific, will represent the Airports Council International (ACI), a trade group of the world’s airports whose members operate 1933 airports in 183 countries.

Senior officials from Israel Airports Authority will participate in the event for the first time since the UAE became the fourth Arab country to normalize relations with Israel, as well as to conduct an exclusive workshop titled “Preparing for the Cybersecurity Challenge” for delegates.

Mr. Ismail Al Balooshi, Assistant Director-General Aviation Safety Affairs at GCAA; Mr. David Shomar, Vice President of Civil Security at SAAB: Mr. Ryyan Waddah Tarabzoni, CEO of Saudi Air Navigation; Mr. Jan Klas, CEO of ANS Czech Republic; Mr. Yahya Abdalla AlHammadi, CEO, GAL ANS and Mr. Andrew P. Fiamingo, COO, Indra are among the confirmed speakers addressing the difficulties and future technologies in Air Traffic.

With a significant digital component added to the conference this year, several North American aviation professionals will be able to join their peers on stage for the first time, making the conference’s worldwide speaker lineup the largest ever.

Related: Dubai set to host the largest in-person tourism event in the world