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Organizational
Principles of
UAE’s General
Civil Aviation
Authority
10/12/2023
1
Established in 1996 under Federal
Cabinet Decree (Law 4),the General
Civil AviationAuthority (GCAA) of the
United Arab Emirates(UAE) regulates
civil aviation activitiesnationwide.It
emphasizessafety and security while
directing air trafficservicesacrossthe
UAE (one of the smallest Middle
Eastern countriesin termsof land
area,and yet the most economically
vital) and its upper airspace.Along
with its main headquartersin Abu
Dhabi, the GCAA also maintainsa
Dubai regionaloffice that serves
clientsacross the northern Emirates.
An autonomousregulating body,the
authority overseeshalf a dozen major
departments,which in turn manage
approximately 550 smaller
organizations.
10/12/2023
2
The GCAA’s Air Accident Investigation Department (AAI) is tasked with
investigating incidents and accidents involving aircraft across the country.
Established under Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Annex
13, AAI’s mission extends to UAE-registered aircraft incidents that occur
outside of the UAE.
10/12/2023
3
Instead of placing liability or blame, the AAI seeks to boost
aviation safety through research and investigation into the
factors that cause air incidents and accidents.This research
informs safety recommendations that help prevent similar
occurrences.One example of such an investigation
involved UPS Flight 6 in 2010. Due to lithium ion batteries
that were improperly labeled and packaged,the 747-400
caughtfire, resulting in the death of both pilots on board.
This incident was rigorously investigated.
10/12/2023
4
The GCAA headquarters in Abu Dhabi include an
air traffic control center and supporting facilities.
The most expansive and technologically advanced
facility of its type in the Middle East, the Sheik
Zayad Air Navigation Centre (SZC) manages
thousands of air traffic movements each day, across
eight UAE international airports.
10/12/2023
5
The Air Traffic Management division
organizes airspace coordination and aircraft
data and monitoring (for billing and statistical
purposes). Electrical, mechanical, and IT
functions of the department are directed by
Communication,Navigation, and Surveillance
(CNS). The training section provides air traffic
controller classes to expatriate controllers
with at least 5 years’ experience and to UAE
nationalswho have no previous ATC
experience. The ANSP Support Services
division is responsible for a full range of HR,
IT, and finance functions at the center, while
Aeronautical Information Service (AIS)
publishes aeronautical information circulars
and supplements, as well as notices to
airmen.
10/12/2023
6
Another major part of the General Civil Aviation Authority is the Safety Affairs
department, which is divided into Flight Operations,Airworthiness, Licensing, and Air
Navigation and Aerodrome (ANA) sections. The Airworthiness Section provides
assurance that all UAE-registered aircraft fully comply with civil aviation regulations.It
also sets standards for those organizationsinside and outside the country that have
authorizationto provide maintenance on UAE-registered aircraft.The section also
delivers specialized input during accident and incident investigations.
10/12/2023
7
The Flight Operationssection regulates the
full range of safety-related activitiesacross
private and commercial air transport. It
issues Air Operator Certificatesafter
conducting inspections, and also provides
for the continuousmonitoring of air
operators. The Licensing Branch oversees
aviation personnel licensing, from flight
crew to ground engineers and mechanics,
and manages flight training schools. Finally,
the Safety Affairs’ ANA Department
provides oversight of UAE airspace and civil
airports, as well as services such as aviation
meteorology, fire-fighting,aviation
planning, and search-and-rescue.
10/12/2023
8
The GCAA also fields a Security Affairs
division that undertakes intelligence and
threat assessments and manages related
policies, inspections, and regulations. Its
National Civil Aviation Security Programme
(NCASP) focuses on the hiring and training of
airport security screeners and manages an
approval process for airports, transport
operators, tenants, and catering companies
as they seek to implement security programs.
10/12/2023
9

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Organizational Principles of UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority

  • 1. Organizational Principles of UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority 10/12/2023 1
  • 2. Established in 1996 under Federal Cabinet Decree (Law 4),the General Civil AviationAuthority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) regulates civil aviation activitiesnationwide.It emphasizessafety and security while directing air trafficservicesacrossthe UAE (one of the smallest Middle Eastern countriesin termsof land area,and yet the most economically vital) and its upper airspace.Along with its main headquartersin Abu Dhabi, the GCAA also maintainsa Dubai regionaloffice that serves clientsacross the northern Emirates. An autonomousregulating body,the authority overseeshalf a dozen major departments,which in turn manage approximately 550 smaller organizations. 10/12/2023 2
  • 3. The GCAA’s Air Accident Investigation Department (AAI) is tasked with investigating incidents and accidents involving aircraft across the country. Established under Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Annex 13, AAI’s mission extends to UAE-registered aircraft incidents that occur outside of the UAE. 10/12/2023 3
  • 4. Instead of placing liability or blame, the AAI seeks to boost aviation safety through research and investigation into the factors that cause air incidents and accidents.This research informs safety recommendations that help prevent similar occurrences.One example of such an investigation involved UPS Flight 6 in 2010. Due to lithium ion batteries that were improperly labeled and packaged,the 747-400 caughtfire, resulting in the death of both pilots on board. This incident was rigorously investigated. 10/12/2023 4
  • 5. The GCAA headquarters in Abu Dhabi include an air traffic control center and supporting facilities. The most expansive and technologically advanced facility of its type in the Middle East, the Sheik Zayad Air Navigation Centre (SZC) manages thousands of air traffic movements each day, across eight UAE international airports. 10/12/2023 5
  • 6. The Air Traffic Management division organizes airspace coordination and aircraft data and monitoring (for billing and statistical purposes). Electrical, mechanical, and IT functions of the department are directed by Communication,Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS). The training section provides air traffic controller classes to expatriate controllers with at least 5 years’ experience and to UAE nationalswho have no previous ATC experience. The ANSP Support Services division is responsible for a full range of HR, IT, and finance functions at the center, while Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) publishes aeronautical information circulars and supplements, as well as notices to airmen. 10/12/2023 6
  • 7. Another major part of the General Civil Aviation Authority is the Safety Affairs department, which is divided into Flight Operations,Airworthiness, Licensing, and Air Navigation and Aerodrome (ANA) sections. The Airworthiness Section provides assurance that all UAE-registered aircraft fully comply with civil aviation regulations.It also sets standards for those organizationsinside and outside the country that have authorizationto provide maintenance on UAE-registered aircraft.The section also delivers specialized input during accident and incident investigations. 10/12/2023 7
  • 8. The Flight Operationssection regulates the full range of safety-related activitiesacross private and commercial air transport. It issues Air Operator Certificatesafter conducting inspections, and also provides for the continuousmonitoring of air operators. The Licensing Branch oversees aviation personnel licensing, from flight crew to ground engineers and mechanics, and manages flight training schools. Finally, the Safety Affairs’ ANA Department provides oversight of UAE airspace and civil airports, as well as services such as aviation meteorology, fire-fighting,aviation planning, and search-and-rescue. 10/12/2023 8
  • 9. The GCAA also fields a Security Affairs division that undertakes intelligence and threat assessments and manages related policies, inspections, and regulations. Its National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) focuses on the hiring and training of airport security screeners and manages an approval process for airports, transport operators, tenants, and catering companies as they seek to implement security programs. 10/12/2023 9