20th Airport Show concludes with focus on flexible technology in post-COVID-19 era

Published: Saturday, May 29, 2021

DUBAI: The three-day 20th edition of the Airport Show concluded in Dubai on 26 May 2021 with key decision-makers from major airports in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) agreeing to push for unique solutions and new technologies to revive the global aviation industry.

They met with reputable exhibitors at the first international event of this nature since the outbreak of COVID-19 and bid goodbye with a renewed sense of optimism and positivity about regaining the lost tempo of growth and expansion.

The landmark edition of the show took place in the hybrid format—physical and digital—where a variety of solutions with strong focus on contactless technologies, Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, electronic bag tags and offsite processing were discussed and presented. New technologies and clean mobility solutions ensuring hygiene and safety of passengers were also showcased prominently.

The Airport Show reflected the resilience of the important players in the Middle East aviation sector who also demonstrated willingness to adapt to the changing travel pattern and adopt new technologies to come up to the passengers’ expectations in the post-COVID-19 world.

The overwhelming response to the reflected the observation of His Highness 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.

“The aviation industry has a history of successfully bouncing back from crises and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. The setback is temporary and it will again be on the tracks of transformation.  As in the past, Dubai will in the future continue to lead in the industry’s resurgence through collaborations and cooperation,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, which organized the trend-setting trade show, said exhibitors had significant meetings with representatives of various organizations from the UAE, other GCC countries as well as from the Middle East region, noting, it was quite encouraging to see people’s zeal to return to normalcy as soon as possible and use the current period to get ready to meet the demand as the situation improves.

 “It was challenging to organize the show at such a critical juncture when the aviation industry has just started to show signs of recovery. But several national and international companies as well as regional buyers showed confidence and came in significantly big number considering the travel restrictions around the globe,” said Qureshi.

Supported by Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), dnata, Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans), Dubai Police and GAL ANS and sponsored by emaratech, Ground Handling Logistics (GHL), Indra, Honeywell, Hog Technologies and Saab, the three-day exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) Halls 7 and 8 witnessed the participation of more than 95 exhibitors from 21 countries, 100-plus Hosted Buyers from over 20 countries and 36 exhibitors at five country pavilions by Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and the UK.

“Everyone who came to the show was outstandingly happy to meet each other again. There were a lot of important conversations during the face-to-face meetings. Business-wise too it was quite encouraging. The exhibitors got good business leads that may soon turn into agreements,” said Qureshi.

Rocco Marcuccio, Managing Advisor of Air Tech Italy (ATI), the leading Trade Association representing Italian companies specialised in supplying products, technologies and services for airports and air-traffic control, said the participating companies were overwhelmed by the response received from regional aviation players during the show, which reflects the region’s eagerness to improve the situation.

“It is quite an interesting time for the aviation sector. The global situation is improving slowly but Middle Eastern countries are showing eagerness to get ready for the future. The show was successful as it brought international players to Dubai who wanted to create synergy with the local and regional players,” he added.