The 95th International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP) Convention, hosted by Gulf Air has kicked off at the Gulf Hotel Convention Centre.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Civil Aviation Affairs Under Secretary Captain Abdulrahman Al Gaoud and Gulf Air Acting President and Chief Executive Ahmed Al Hammadi and other dignitaries.
“In order to meet these challenges, new collaborations and partnerships are vital; brainstorming and pooling of ideas is critical and, sharing and exchanging issues of concern are essential,” said Mr Al Hammadi in his opening speech, highlighting the dominant role played by technology and the challenges due to technology changes in the aviation industry.
He also underscored two issues currently faced by the aviation industry: “On one hand we see an enormous growth in the number of aircraft but the phasing out of old aircraft is much less. On the other hand we have a very limited capacity of hangars. This has lead to a critical situation; shortage of bays and demand for slots has pushed up maintenance costs, adding a heavy burden on airlines, which are already over-burdened with mounting fuel costs.
Fuel is still a global headache - both in terms of cost, and as importantly, in terms of the new focus on carbon emissions,” he added.
IATP Chairman and Cargolux International Airlines Director of Maintenance and Production Ted Moos thanked Gulf Air for playing host to the conference and gave an overview of IATP’s role and objectives.
He also praised the cooperation among the member airlines in various technical issues.
The three-day event is being attended by about 400 delegates representing global aviation and related industries, including aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.
Over several technical sessions and workshops, delegates will discuss technical issues relating to the introduction of A380 and Boeing 787aircraft including spares provisioning, the business related to ground handling and ground maintenance equipment, aircraft recovery kit contents and certification of kits.
As hosts to the event, Gulf Air took the delegates, who have come from far and wide, on a tour of the Kingdom and accorded an evening reception at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) yesterday (Sunday March 11), where the guests were introduced to traditional Arabian folk music and dance, henna painting and falconry.
The IATP meet is hailed as an important gathering of technical professionals from global aviation industry, who, in the spirit of co-operation, gather twice a year and discuss sharing of resources, thus generating economic savings, while improving operating efficiency and other issues.