Panel Discussion – Room One – GCC Focus

GCC MRO: can local service providers keep up with the growing demand?

Sponsored by

Readiness of assets is one of the most crucial parts of the aviation business, as any failure to ensure availability of an aircraft when and where it is needed will impede an operator’s performance and efficiency. The GCC aviation industry is growing, making it a priority for the region to develop its MRO sector. With the GCC carriers planning for aggressive expansions in the near future, the region is focusing on building its MRO capacity to cater to the increasing number of operated aircraft. Shortage of MRO in the region could be a major challenge to ensure sustainable growth of the aviation sector.

What is the impact of MRO on the region’s aviation safe and efficient operations?
What is the role of strategic partnerships in driving GCC MRO sector growth?
Looking at existing MRO business models in different regions: lessons learnt and what can be implemented in the region

Aileen McDowall, Vice President, Airlines, Air Transport & Regional for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, Honeywell Aerospace
Ziad Al Hazmi, Chief Executive Officer, Lufthansa Technik Middle East
Saleh Eid, Vice President - Aircraft Component Maintenance, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI)
Ribhi E. Al-Husseini, General Manager, First Premium for Support Services  
Fahed Al Shamesi, Chief Executive Officer, AMMROC  

Alan Peaford, Editor-in-chief, Times Group - Aerospace, Aerocomm Ltd











Roundtable Discussion – Room Two – Aerospace & Defence

Soaring into the next 100 years: leveraging digital technologies to achieve operational excellence

Facilitated by

As the industry passes 100 years of commercial services, the centennial celebration takes us into a totally new era filled with powerful market forces and disruptive technologies that are presenting entirely new mandates for building, operating and maintaining commercial, military and space products.

Digital technologies are at the heart of the industry value chain, from design to passenger experience. This session will focus on how aerospace and defense companies should leverage these technologies to help reduce cost, manage product lifecycles, deliver on time, become more efficient and improve customer service.

Key Topics for Debate:

How can digital technologies be used to lower cost, shorten cycle time, improve quality, reduce delivery time and avoid delays?
How can digital help capture new business? Or a bigger share of business by leveraging untapped expertise or extending an existing process?
What will be the impact of future developments on products or services?

John Schmidt, Global Aerospace and Defence Lead, Accenture
Pierre Bontems, Middle East Aerospace & Defense Lead, Accenture

















Roundtable Discussion – Room Three

Workforce Development: can we solve this challenge?

Sponsored by

The main challenge facing aerospace sectors is still human resources. The industry has been investing money, time and energy to ensure the availability of a qualified and skilled workforce to sustain its growth; however, different factors are affecting and obstructing the efforts in developing a qualified workforce, such as competition from other industries, educational challenges and a misconception of aerospace as being a “male job”. This problem is further intensified by the development of high technologies, equipment, and systems used in the industry which require highly-skilled and more specialised personnel.

The session will explore innovative strategies and processes to overcome the challenge of skilled workforce shortage and knowledge transfer and will discuss whether technology could be a solution to reduce the industry’s reliance on man force.

Why is there still a shortage in qualified human capital? And how can the industry and academia work together to develop and attract a highly-skilled workforce?
How is the aerospace competing with other industries for skilled workforce, especially engineers?
Will manufacturing be less reliant on people by increasing automation?
Will the industry invest in developing a qualified and skilled workforce? Or will investment focus more on enhancing robotics and automated technologies?
Are universities producing the right calibre for aerospace industries? Are they updating their curriculum to keep up with industry development?
How can governments and private companies encourage students to opt for STEM educational curriculum to build a future aerospace workforce?
Women in Aerospace: is the industry doing its best to attract female engineers?

Ahmed Al Safared, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad AIS

Roundtable Discussion – Room Four

Innovating offset programmes to support local economic development and achieve a company’s business targets

Sponsored by

GCC offset programmes play an important role in government plans for economic development – in particular as the region is increasing its military spending. Creating an innovative offset program that meets the host country’s needs and requirements is important for unlocking the potential of this development. When planned and implemented effectively, offset programmes can assist with the advancement of research and technology, knowledge transfer and growth of local value chains.

The session will discuss innovative offset strategies and their role in bringing long-term economic benefits and driving sustainable growth and development in the region.

Looking at innovative offset programmes adopted by other regions and how they have driven economic growth
How can new market entrants develop an innovative offset programme that fits with the region’s needs? What is the role of the host
government in developing the programme?
How to strategize for an offset programme that will achieve all involved parties’ targets?

Dr. Phillip Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Tawazun Precision Industries


















Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by:   


Panel Discussion – Room 1

Saudi Arabian aerospace industry

Sponsored by

As the largest country in the Middle East with a high growth rate, the country provides a lucrative opportunity for Aerospace and Aviation growth. The country’s yearly passengers’ rate is expected to grow to reach 100 million yearly by 2020.

The session will cover updates on the Saudi Arabian aerospace industry and its development. It will also discuss how the country’s aerospace objectives, challenges faced and how to overcome them.

Abdullah Alosaimi, Chief Executive Officer, Taqnia Space
Yahya Al Ghoraibi, Chief Executive officer, Alsalam Aircraft Company
Abdulrahman Altayeb, Advisor to Director General on Privatization and VP Fleet Management & Agreements, Saudi Arabian Airlines
Abdulmohsen O. Aynousah, Director, Technical Sales & Marketing, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI).

Robert Willen, Managing Partner Middle East and Lead Partner Government & Economic Development Practice, A.T. Kearney
















Panel Discussion – Room 2

Encouraging military MRO co-operations and co-ordination

Sponsored by

The session will bring together local and international military organisations, military MROs and major OEMs who will look at the key market changes in military aviation and how it will affect MRO sector. It will examine the role of strategic partnerships and alliances to develop a regional network and scalability and the opportunity for growth in military MRO services in the region.


Leonard Favre, Partner, Group Managing Director, 1BlueHorizon Group
Rahul Shah, Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth and Business Development, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, AAR Corporation
Fahed Al Shamesi, CEO, AMMROC

Matthew Cochran, Chairman ahnd CEO, Defense Services Marketing Council






















Roundtable Discussion – Room 3

Flight simulation – does it foster same results as hands-on training?

Providing the right training for the future workforce plays an important role in ensuring the growth of the Aviation industry. The session will evaluate current flight simulation for both the Defence and Commercial sectors and its role in workforce development focusing on how far the industry can go with a simulated environment and if it fosters the same results as hands-on training.

Establishing holistic, turnkey training to ensure effective training for your workforce
How far can the industry go with a simulated environment and does it foster the same results as hands-on training?
Big data and Internet of Things: How will this fast-growing technology affect the way we train in the future?
How will simulation and virtualisation be used in R&D, manufacturing and certification? To what extent can these technologies be pushed to increase efficiencies and improve performance?
Simulation training regulations: how are the different aerospace sectors (fixed wings, rotary wings, and defence simulation trainings) regulated and where are the discrepancies?

Jim Takats, Senior Vice President, Global Simulation & Training Strategy, TRU Simulation and Training










Panel Discussion – Room 4

African aviation: is the commercial opportunity real?

Africa is considered one of the fastest-emerging markets in aviation with a high growth potential; however, the current political and economic situation is hindering the aviation industry’s growth. For African aviation stakeholders, it has become a necessity to tackle the pertinent challenges, improve aviation’s efficiency, safety, and quality of service and unlock the continent’s potential.

This session will focus on aviation in Africa discussing growth potential, as well as the challenges facing local and international aviation stakeholders in expanding and growing their businesses in Africa.

What is the role of regional cooperation in driving African aviation growth?
What is required to build an efficient aviation industry in Africa?
What is the role of OEMs, international organisations, and most importantly, local regulators, airliners and airports in improving African aviation?
What is the role of governments in airline establishment and management? Should governments be involved or should their role be restricted?
How will open-sky agreements impact African aviation? What is the potential of increasing regional open-sky agreements and how will it improve the industry?

Sanjeev Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer, Astral Aviation Limited
Hussein Dabbas, Regional Vice President, IATA

Alan Peaford, Editor-in-chief, Times Group - Aerospace, Aerocomm Ltd




Panel Discussion – Room One

Business aviation in a fast-growing commercial aviation market: challenges and opportunities

The first challenges that come up when looking at business aviation are usually technical and financial, including shortage of MRO, qualified human resources, and high costs of operations.

However, the industry is facing more complex issues that impact their efficiency and performance and, if not solved efficiently, will hinder the growth of both the business and commercial aviation sectors. Some of these challenges include illegal charter, acquiring landing permits, and availability of air control slots, which could increase with crowded airspace that will soar with the expected growth in commercial aviation in the near future.

In the majority of the regions with the fastest-growing demand for air travel, infrastructure does not support commercial aviation operations, especially in emerging markets. Business aviation has a key role in supporting and sustaining civil aviation. The session will discuss the current and future challenges that business aviation operators are facing and the role of civil aviation community in solving these problems.

What is required from the civil aviation community to drive the business aviation sector?
What is the role of the government? Are there any planned strategies to avail more routes and landing permits for business jets?
Do airports and air traffic controllers service business aviation properly? Is there enough air traffic control and parking slots for nonscheduled operators?
How are regulators dealing with the business aviation grey market?

Ali Alnaqbi, Founding Chairman, Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA)
Greg Thomas, President and Executive Chairman, PrivatAir SA
Josh Stewart, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, XJet

Kurt Edwards
, Director General, International Business Aviation Council (IBAC)




Roundtable Discussion – Room Two

Creating a R&D ecosystem and fostering a climate of innovation within the GCC

With the growing need for economic diversification in the region, GCC countries are looking for innovative strategies to build a robust culture of R&D that can support the growth of the industry. To this end, government authorities, academic institutions and private companies need to collaborate to achieve national economic and industrial objectives.

The session will identify the importance of aligning R&D programs with the region’s industrial requirements. The role of R&D in producing innovative technologies to drive aerospace development in the region will also be discussed.

How can countries and companies in the GCC establish robust aerospace R&D programmes?
What are the key areas that require further investments for this to develop?
What should you look for in a research programme partner?
What is the role and impact of technology parks and clusters on developing R&D?
How can all of this be funded?

Majid Al Mail, Head, Innovator Initiative, Technology Development Committee
Matthew Cochran, Chairman and CEO, Defense Services Marketing Council

Dr. Yehya Mohamed Al Marzouqi, Executive Director, Project Management, Tawazun



















Roundtable Discussion – Room Three

Innovation in aero engine manufacturing and technology

Facilitated by
Aviation Week Network

Increased efficiency and performance have always been the main developments jet engine manufacturers try to achieve, as OEMs are constantly investing in and developing innovative technologies to achieve clients’ needs for enhanced efficiency. The session will look at how the development of new technologies, materials and business models are impacting aero engine manufacturing and how this sector is adapting to the changes and delivering to industry needs and requirements.

What is impacting the change in aircraft manufacturers and operators’ requirements?
What is the next generation engine technology for defence and commercial platforms? What can we expect for UAS?
Will we see new materials used in the engines of the future?
Can the engine supply chain handle the ramp up in production? Are there production technologies that can be introduced to help?

Brian Prentice, Partner, Aviation, Aerospace & Defense practice of Oliver Wyman























Panel Discussion – Room Four

Improving customer service and experience: will it really win airlines customers?

Sponsored by

Customer service and experience are important factors when selecting an airline, but is customer behaviour reflecting that these are more important than price for travellers’ carrier choice?

This session will look at changes in passenger bookings, how they are affecting airline competitiveness and what it all means for airline and OEM strategy.

Key Topics for Debate

What are passengers looking for: lower prices or a better travel experience?
Are you using the right innovative solutions to reach and communicate with customers and inform them about your added-value offers?
Which innovative technologies, services and strategies are required to enhance travel experience and secure customer loyalty and increase your global competitiveness?
Flyer Loyalty Programmes: do they influence passenger bookings?

Shane O'Hare, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Etihad Airways
Michel Tellier, Vice President Aerospace and Defense Industry, Dassault Systemes

Vik Krishnan, Partner, Aviation, Aerospace & Defense practice of Oliver Wyman

Facilitated by
Aviation Week Network



















Networking lunch break

Sponsored by:PnWUTC 



Roundtable Discussion – Room One

The Future Leaders Programme

Sponsored by

The strategy session ‘Future Leaders Programme’ is designed to showcase the aerospace & defence, aviation and space industries, celebrate the success of young professionals who have already established themselves as high performers and shed light on what motivates and attracts students to embark on this aspiring career path.

This programme will bring together young Emirati professionals, talent experts and Emirati students with the purpose of engaging in an open, interactive dialogue focusing on three main questions:

Why should you choose a career in the aerospace & defence, aviation and space industries?

What type of skills would you require in order to achieve success?

What would a career in the aerospace & defence, aviation and space industries look like?

The session will conclude with a networking reception where young talent will discuss potential future opportunities with local and global supporters.

Strategy Session’s Chair:
Dr. Khaled Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ship Building

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Andrew Aldrin, Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute and an Associate Professor at Florida Institute of Technology

Panel Discussion: Aerospace & Defence
Amna AlRedha, Business Analyst, Community Engagement, Boeing International
Osama Amir Fadhel, Director Strategy, Programs & Commercial, Tawazun Precision Industries
Bader Almasoum, Programe Manager, AMMROC
Faisal Al Haira, Business Development Director, AMMROC

Panel Discussion: Aviation
Humaid Al Maazmi, Watch Manager – Approach, Al Maktoum International Airport, DANS
Ammar Al Ansaari, Sales Graduate Manager, Etihad Airways
Reem Al Saffar, Senior Officer - Compliance & Safeguarding, Dubai Airports
Dr. Shareef Al-Romaithi, Ph.D. Pilot - Boeing 777, Etihad Airways

Wissam Hachem, Vice President Learning & Development, Etihad Airways

Panel Discussion: Space
Sheikha Al Maskari, Chief Innovation Officer, UAE Space Agency
Khaled Alnuaimi, Engineer, Regulatory & Spectrum Affairs, Yahsat
Sultan Al Mehrezi, Sr. Manager, System Engineering & Gateway Development, Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Zakareyya Al Shamsi, Software Systems Section Manager, EMM Deputy Project Manager of Mission Operations, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center
Khalfan AlRomaithi, Onboard Data Processing System Engineer at UAE Space Agency

Dr. Mauricio Guerrero, Team Leader, AngelicvM

Roundtable Discussion – Room Two

Commercial aviation GCC focus: investing in infrastructure to support aviation growth

With three major airlines located so close and growing almost at the same speed, by 2032, the GCC airspace and airports are expected to be the busiest globally. This fast-growing demand in commercial aviation is putting pressure on the region to build an integral infrastructure to support the increase in air traffic and the number of travellers into and through the region.

The session will bring together industry stakeholders, senior government officials, air traffic specialists, airport expansion and urban infrastructure experts to discuss and find innovative strategies to build and strengthen GCC infrastructure which will support the region’s aviation industry and ensure its sustainable growth.

How will the GCC aviation be like 10 to 15 years from now? Is the region able to keep up with the growth in demand?
What are the solutions to the increased pressure on infrastructure authorities, airports and airspace controllers?
Which infrastructure needs more investment and development?
How will other sectors adapt and cater to a rapidly-growing industry (Hospitality, Roads and Transportation…etc.)

Mohamed Abubaker Farea, Director, Department of Transport, UAE











































Roundtable Discussion – Room three

Regulating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 

Facilitated by

As Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are increasingly used for commercial, environmental and recreational purposes, civil aviation authorities are required to develop a regulatory framework to effectively integrate them into civilian airspace. Although safety and security are the main reasons behind regulation development, a well-outlined framework for the legal use of UAVs will drive the growth of this technology and unlock its potential.

This session will explore how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ regulations are developed and the challenges facing governments in implementing them.

What are the risks of operating UAVs without regulations?
What are the different approaches to integrating UAVs into controlled civilian airspace? How different parts of the world are coping with this new technology?
How are UAVs regulated in the GCC? How are they regulated globally?
How will the government develop effective strategies to regulate UAVs and ensure compliance?
Commercial and recreational UAVs, do they all come under the same regulatory framework?
What is the role of public awareness in increasing the safe use of recreational UAVs?

Mauricio Zuazua, Partner, Innovation, Government & Economic Development Practices, A.T. Kearney







































Roundtable Discussion – Room Four

Venturing into aftermarket support business: is this worth the risk?

Facilitated by
Aviation Week Network

As competition increases and customers are demanding more of OEMs, aerospace companies are adding new products and services to their business to ensure customer satisfaction and retention. Aftermarket support is a service that companies are currently resorting to, in order to increase both their competitiveness and profit.

This service provides OEMs with the opportunity to generate presumably low-risk profit while keeping close relations with the client; however, this does not come easily, as restructuring a company to become a services business could add to the cost and complexity and, if services are not planned and provided effectively, may cause cost increase and loss of business.

The session will look at the growing interest of aerospace companies in venturing into after-market support in order to ensure customer retention and generate high-profit revenue. The session will also cover the challenges in managing after-market services and how this business model is changing the industry.

Key Topics for Debate:

What competitive advantage technical support provides? Is it really adding value to businesses?
Do aerospace companies have the necessary skills and experience to provide after-market support?
As most of OEMs offer different types of products to clients globally, are they able to keep up with and manage a global network of after-sales?

Dennis Floyd, Vice President, Services Strategy and Business Development, Boeing
Rahul Shah, Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth and Business Development, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, AAR Corporation

Sebastien Maire, Partner, Oliver Wyman