Doha: President of the Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) H E Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al Subaey said that the National Day occasion has great moral significance and carries many sublime meanings that are entrenched in the hearts and minds of everyone who lives in the State of Qatar.
It is a day of renewing the covenant and promises to consolidate the meanings of pride, belonging, and loyalty, he said, adding that this important day is an opportunity to embody the meanings of unity and solidarity and to enhance the Qatari people’s awareness of the greatness of the Founders’ generation.
H E Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al Subaey
In a statement to Qatar News Agency on the occasion of Qatar National Day, QCAA President said that celebrating the National Day is an incentive to draw inspiration and lessons, which are summarised in hard and serious work to raise the name of the State of Qatar. Also, to emphasise the need to emulate the late Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, the Founder of the State of Qatar, who laid the foundations of a strong and independent nation that has become a ring model in all fields and levels.
Al Subaey indicated that the State of Qatar had adopted the state building pillars laid by the Founder as the basis for all its plans, strategies, large development projects, and its national vision to advance the state and its institutions, to top the list of the most developing countries and make one achievement after another.
“All this is nothing but a consolidation and translation of all the great meanings of the occasion of the National Day, which renews every year, among the Qatari people the determination to make all efforts to raise the nation, and move forward in development to achieve more progress,” he added.
On the achievements made by QCAA this year, implementing its plans emanating from the second national development strategy 2018-2022, and how these plans proceed in light of the current challenges, Al Subaey said: “Despite all the great challenges we faced, we have not wavered from marching towards achieving our goals and plans, and many accomplishments.”
He said that the efforts made during this exceptional year to counter the COVID-19 pandemic to contribute to limiting the spread of the virus, enabling air traffic to return, and preparing for the next stage, are a great achievement for the State of Qatar, referring to the results of these efforts, most importantly, Hamad International Airport (HIA) obtaining an accreditation certificate from the British Standards Institute (BSI), for implementing the aviation health and safety protocols for the COVID-19, thus making HIA the first in the world to obtain this accreditation.
Al Subaey noted that such an achievement confirms the main and important role played by the QCAA to ensure compliance with international standards, as well as the pioneering role played by HIA. “In 2020, we also became a member of the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). During the year, QCCA signed a contract with the leading Swedish aviation company IBG, specialised in management, consulting, and training in the aviation sector, to increase the capacity of the Qatari airspace and HIA, to accommodate the expected increase during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and to provide all the requirements to host the event,” Al Subaey added.
He noted that as part of its efforts to advance the air transport sector, QCAA in 2020 signed the final open skies agreement with the Republic of Uruguay, within the framework of linking the State of Qatar with air services agreements that pave the way for the national carrier to expand its network and reach more international destinations. He added that the number of these agreements has so far reached 169, to cover approximately 87.5 percent of the countries of the world.
In the same context, Al Subaey pointed out that in February, QCAA hosted the 11th Gulf Seismological Forum to utilise modern research and technologies to apply the necessary measures to reduce seismic risks and alleviate human suffering material losses resulting from these risks.
He explained that since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, QCAA has intensified its efforts to issue the necessary instructions in a manner that contributes to curbing the spread of the virus by instructing airlines operating in the country not to accept travelers from some high-risk regions.
The QCAA granted many facilities to airlines by issuing hundreds of permits for evacuation flights for citizens of foreign countries, after direct coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies of those countries in Doha. The work of airlines in the local market was also monitored. Exceptional directives and instructions were issued to preserve the rights of travellers who were forced to cancel or postpone their travel due to the suspension of flights, as the QCAA represented by the Air Transport Administration continuously followed up on travellers’ complaints, of which over 85 percent have been positively resolved.
Al Subaey stressed that as part of its efforts to counter the pandemic, the QCAA had issued the “Aviation COVID-19 Health Safety Guidelines,” which provides directions and guidelines for operators and service providers in the country, and those concerned with the civil aviation industry, on how to facilitate the safe and gradual restoration of air traffic flow management. Also, issuing the “Aviation COVID-19 Guidelines” to ensure the safe operation of civil aviation facilities related to air navigation services is an essential pillar for securing the safety and management of air traffic on the ground and in the air.
He highlighted the authority’s active participation in the “National Committee for COVID-19,” where efforts have been made to project the economic and operational point of view to reduce the damage caused to the air transport sector by the pandemic while taking into account the preservation of all health standards to limit the spread of the virus in the country. Besides, QCAA has continuously coordinated with authorities regarding the pursued travel procedures, in conjunction with the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed in the State of Qatar to limit the spread of the virus.
In this context, Al Subaey expressed his pride in the tireless efforts made by the national carrier (Qatar Airways) since the outbreak of the pandemic, as it flew more than 175 million kilometres to safely transport more than 2.3 million passengers to their countries on board more than 35 thousand flights during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Over and above, Qatar Airways, amid the hardships imposed by the pandemic, has accomplished what can be seen as a new achievement when it resumed air traffic to more than half of its destinations while providing the highest standards of health and safety during the flights, for the civil aviation system in the State of Qatar to strengthen the concept of safe travel, which promises the possibility of preparing to restore air aviation to the pre-COVID time and to overcome the difficulties that it had gone through,” he added.
Al Subaey affirmed that thanks to the vision and directives of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, our wise government has been able to face all crises, promptly responding to challenges and efficiently managing the crises in addition to all the efforts exerted and effective measures applied. He said adopting procedures and work mechanisms that have proven its efficiency and effectiveness, stressing that these successes reflect the State’s strength and its ability to withstand challenges and overcome obstacles, for the State of Qatar to present a successful model in crisis management.