UAE toughens up flying regulations

CARGO airlines in the UAE have until the end of the month to comply with new regulations or they will be banned from flying into or out of any UAE airport from 1 July.

Following the recent ban of An-12s and as part of an ongoing clean up of the aviation sector, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has decreed that all airlines must have a minimum insurance of over US$1 million.

Domestic carriers, such as Air Arabia, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways, are already required to have such insurance so the regulation will mainly affect the smaller foreign air cargo operators already hit with the An-12 ban.

The GCAA said: “In the interest of public protection, it is important to ensure a proper minimum level of insurance to cover liability of air carriers and aircraft operators.”

Fathi Buhazza, the chief executive of Maximus Air Cargo, which operates out of Abu Dhabi International Airport, said: “I’m very happy to see the new GCAA initiatives and concerns. It has really done a lot of good.”

Commenting on the UAE’s recent An-12 ban, Buhazza added: “There has been much bad press about Ukrainian and Russian aircraft when actually the problem lies not with the aircraft but with substandard operators who fall short of international safety standards.

“The GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority) are taking steps with operators who do not meet safety standards and Maximus fully supports this and believes that this firm approach will work.

“We are keen to work with the GCAA to ensure that regional safety standards follow meticulous global standards.”

Maximus’ fleet does not include any An-12s but many of its smaller competitors in the UAE do.

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