United Arab Emirates Airspace Restructuring

United Arab Emirates Airspace Restructuring

This post will cover the launch of the UAE ARP expected to go into the implementation phase on December 7, 2017.
There will soon be changes to the United Arab Emirates Airspace, including banning aircraft that do not have updated navigation data in their EMS from UAE Airspace.


Prior to the launch of the UAE ARP, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), in collaboration with local Civil Aviation Departments and ANSPs, performed a ‘UAE Airspace Study’ in 2012 which identified a requirement to ‘develop a comprehensive airspace design that will accommodate transition to a full PBN airspace environment to support the increasing demand’. This study laid the foundations of the UAE ARP. Accordingly, the UAE ARP adopted an industry-wide collaborative approach, encompassing a three-phase project which began in 2013.
As of July 16th, the UAE ARP activated Phase 3 (ARP 3) of the UAE Airspace Restructure. Phase 3 is the integration and implementation phase of the UAE Airspace Study which garnered the support of globally recognized consultants who ensured the safe integration of conceptual designs for an implementable airspace solution. 


The implementation phase of the project is scheduled to start December 7, 2017. According to section GEN 1.5 ( of the latest UAE - AIP (Aeronautical Information Publications) update, a grace period of 16 hours will be provided starting from the AIRAC Cycle at 00:00 UTC. Thus aircraft arriving on the non-updated database will not be permitted to enter the UAE Airspace after 16:00 UTC on December 7, 2017.
To avoid flight delays and diversions, be sure to update your operating aircraft flight management system accordingly.

Key Design Elements

  • Optimization of available airspace
  • Enhancement of unidirectional route network
  • Improvement of network efficiency and flexibility
  • Support UAE FIR/TMA transition into RNAV 1 environment
  • Introduction of Conditional Routes (CDR)
  • All UAE airports are in the Enroute network
  • Network integration supports forecasted 2020 traffic demand
  • More efficient departure and arrival network with delay reduction and shortened distance of Dubai CTA entry/exit gates
  • Dubai CTA entry gates specialized for airport (DXB, DWC, SHU)
  • Optimization of Abu Dhabi CTA entry/exit gates
  • Additional Western entry gate to support dual downwind structure and additional Western and Eastern exit gates to support simultaneous parallel departures
  • Optimization of the internal networks with the CTAs
  • Incorporation of strategic vertical separation through altitude constraints

Why is the UAE Implementing ARP 3?

  • UAE Airspace will be increased to meet the forecasted air traffic demand for 2020
  • Increased access to all United Arab Emirate airports
  • Improved efficiency for aviation system customers and Air Navigation Service Providers
  • Reduced environmental impact of increasing air traffic with the provision of more effective air traffic management operations.

Benefits of the UAE Airspace Restructure

Simulations have demonstrated the capability to safely meet the capacity requirements for forecasted 2020 air traffic. The restructure will also enable environmental efficiency and fuel savings of over $10 million to the airport and airline customers in the first year of implementation. These sustainable annual fuel savings translate to around 100,000 Mt of CO², for a significant contribution towards the UAE’s Environmental Policy and ‘Greener’ aviation.

Facts and Figures

  • Project Implementation Duration – 18 months  
  • Number of project Deliverables - 50  
  • Number of Workshops / Meetings – over 200  
  • Actual Man hours for design development – over 70,000 hours  
  • Number of UAE Air Navigation Service Providers involved – 6  
  • Number of Emirates of U.A.E involved - 5  
  • Number of Aviation Stakeholder organizations collaboratively involved - 26  
  • Number of Project Representatives – over 150

ICAO Flight Plan Information

Operator’s Name and a contact phone number or email must be included in the remarks section of the ICAO flight plan.

Development Beyond 2020

Future proofing the UAE’s airspace network for the forecasted growth to 2040 is a parallel activity within the UAE ARP 3. Through the UAE ARP 3 Integrated Airspace Master Plan (IAMP) a Roadmap will be developed to ensure greater capacity and efficiency will be introduced to the network through incremental implementation stages in line with key forecasted aviation milestones. Milestones include the expansion plans for both Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion as well as Dubai’s EXPO 2020. This allows the UAE network to proactively adapt airspace in a timely manner in order to strategically prepare for significant events, thereby providing the ability to support the strategies of National Aviation Stakeholders. 
More information is available on the Aeronautical Information Management website at https://www.gcaa.gov.ae/en/ais/Pages/default.aspx

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