Leading global construction firms will be in Iraq for a major summit that will put focus on the ongoing $50 billion aviation infrastructure projects in the country. The companies will discuss the progress of Iraq’s airport projects, expansion and construction of new terminals, said a statement from Babylon International, the organizers of the fourth annual Iraq Airports Conference and Exhibition.
The event is being hosted by Sulaymaniyah International Airport in the Kurdistan region of Iraq from December 3 to 4. Building on the success of past annual events in the major cities of Iraq, the annual conference will highlight the best practices in air traffic control/air traffic management (ATC/ATM), safety and security, IT support, maintenance, operations and ground handling.
Ram Muthaiah, the general manager of UAE-based Babylon International, said the Iraqi aviation market currently offers vast economic potential and remains undeterred despite recent market challenges.
Muthaiah said, “Air transport infrastructure in the country has crumbled after years of underfunding, but the Iraqi government has a clear vision to rebuild the aviation sector by injecting cash into redevelopment efforts and regaining international investor confidence.”
With a population of over 33 million, Iraq has 19 civilian airports and seven military air transport facilities, serving around 30 airlines, including its national carrier Iraqi Airways. Across the country, major airport infrastructure development programs are under way as air travel demand within Iraq increases.
Muthaiah commented, "Existing airports in Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Mosul and Sulaymaniyah are undergoing expansion, while new airports are being constructed in areas such as Karbala, Kirkuk and Dohuk."
Iraqi Airways is also upbeat after it placed an order of 55 new aircrafts, worth over $2.6 billion with global airplane manufacturers Boeing and Bombardier.
“The carrier remains steadfast in pursuing new growth opportunities, not only by modernizing and expanding its fleet, but also by widening its route network,” he added.
The two-day conference will attract more than 60 companies from Iraq and abroad. The event will also see regional and global aviation experts discuss the various industry trends that will shape Iraq’s aviation landscape in the coming years.
The two-day event will be held at the Titanic Hotel Sulaymaniyah and will welcome officials from the Iraq Ministry of Transport, Iraq Civil Aviation Authority, as well as delegates comprising airport directors and senior managers from within the country’s aviation sector.