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Airport investment key to competitiveness in Jordan

Jordan must continue to invest in airport infrastructure in preparation for a doubling of passengers, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO has said.

Speaking on a visit to the Middle East, Alexandre de Juniac praised the country for its commitment to the aviation sector in the past and said that as traffic in the region grows, so too does the need for the sustainable development of infrastructure.

“Jordan’s leaders have always understood the importance of having a sustainable aviation sector,” said de Juniac.

Amman’s competitive advantage as a regional aviation hub depends on infrastructure that meets the needs of customers and stakeholders, at a fair price

“They have prioritized policies such as infrastructure development, visa facilitation and open skies that have encouraged the development of air connectivity that supports travel and tourism.”

The kingdom currently serves eight million passengers annually. According to IATA analysis, that figure is expected to increase 4% year-on-year for the next two decades, resulting in a doubling of travellers by 2037.

“Amman’s competitive advantage as a regional aviation hub depends on infrastructure that meets the needs of customers and stakeholders, at a fair price,” de Juniac said.

“The key to achieving that is consultation with users. We urge the Jordanian Government to talk to all stakeholders—especially the airlines—to ensure that the best long-term economic and social benefits are realized.”

De Juniac also said that Jordan’s new consumer protection regulations, which are currently being drafted, have benefited from IATA support throughout the process to help meet the organization’s Smarter Regulation objectives.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IATA that will see the Middle Eastern state adhere to global best practices to help improve aviation safety.

The agreement sees Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recognize IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) programs to complement its safety oversight.

Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (Jordan CARC) signed its own MoU with IATA in 2018, adopting ISAGO to complement the safety regulator’s oversight function.

Recognition of IOSA was not part of the initial agreement between the two, but De Juniac said he hopes the CARC will “take another step forward” and recognize it in the future.