Terrorist and other security threats to the Middle East aviation and maritime sectors will be examined at APTS Middle East, the region’s only integrated conference and exhibition to focus exclusively on the key challenges facing airport, port and transport terminals, to be held in Dubai.The inaugural event, that will take place at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai, from March 14-15, 2005, will bring together world renowned regional and international security experts to discuss key issues impacting on transportation security.
The latest developments in aviation and maritime security in the Middle East including strategies in policing ports, airports and checkpoints; counter-terrorism strategies; effective security management in high volume terminals; regional security coordination; best practices in combating new threats and the use of biometrics to identify security threats, will be addressed.
APTS Middle East will take place at a time when GCC governments are spending US $11.792 billion on expanding and upgrading their airports to meet the demand from rapidly rising populations and increased business and tourism traffic.
Dubai is leading the way with an ambitious US $4.5bn programme that will reinforce its status as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs and increase airport capacity to more than 30 million passengers by 2020. Qatar will spend US $1.6bn on expanding its airport, including a new 70,000 square metre terminal, and Saudi Arabia has embarked on a US $1.5bn project at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz Airport that will enable it to handle 21 million passengers by 2010.
Abu Dhabi is spending US $600 million on airport development plans; Ajman plans to spend US $800m putting Ajman International Airport firmly on the aviation map; Bahrain has launched a US $815m project to develop and upgrade its airport facilities and Oman has allocated US $300m to implement projects aimed at raising Seeb International Airport’s capacity from 2.5 million to 6.5 million passengers per year.
And Kuwait has set aside US $300 million for the Kuwait Airspace System Plan (KASP) that calls for the purchase of sophisticated aviation equipment, including communications, radar, air traffic management and weather data processing systems.
“APTS Middle East will enhance and support the work being done by government security agencies and the police throughout the Middle East to combat the emerging threats to regional security,” said David Wood, Managing Director, International Business Events (IBE), organisers of the conference and exhibition.
“The two high level conference streams, running alongside the exhibition, will analyse the threats to aviation and maritime security with a focus on policy, innovation, and best practice.
“The meeting of minds is likely to spark lively debate on current security issues, between participants from different parts of the industry and different parts of the world.”
Among the regional speakers at the event will be Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Dubai Ports Authority; Maj Gen Dhahi Khalfan, Commander in Chief, Dubai Police; Dr Abdulla Al Hashimi, Senior Vice President, Emirates Group Security and Colonel Ahmed bin Thani, Director General, Department of Ports and Airports Security, Dubai Police.
International speakers will include Jalal Haidar, Regional Officer - Aviation Security, Middle East and Africa, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); Denis Marie, General Manager, Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) Security Services; Jean Trestour, Acting Director, Transportation Security Directorate J, European Commission; Howard Eng, Airport Management Director, Airport Authority, Hong Kong and Niki Tompkinson, Director of Transport Security, Department of Transport, United Kingdom.
According to Maurice Flanagan, Vice Chairman and Group President, Emirates, said APTS Middle East will provide “a much needed forum bringing together leading professionals from the Middle East region concerned with ensuring the highest levels of aviation security.”
Anwar Ahmed Wajdi, Executive Director - Commercial, Dubai Ports Authority believes the conference and exhibition “will be a very valuable forum for the exchange of ideas and best practice and to showcase products and services that will continually enhance maritime security in the region.”
And Anita Mehra Homayoun, Director Marketing and Corporate Communications Directorate, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said APTS Middle East “will provide a timely focus on the security issues facing the Gulf’s airports and ports.”
In addition to the two conference streams, one focusing on aviation and the other on maritime security, the event will also include workshops on Security Risk Management; Practicalities of Policing Airports and Ports; Regional Cooperation and Partnership and how to identify non-traditional concealed weapons. A number of case studies will also be presented.
The main supporters of APTS Middle East are the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and Dubai Ports Authority. Other supporters include the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO); Dubai Shipping Agents Association (DSAA); UK Trade and Investment; Royal Aeronautical Society, UK; British Airports Group, Ports, and Terminals Group, UK.; L3 Communications; Rapiscan and LG.