Dubai Airports remains focused on constantly improving safety and security which are central to the success of any responsible airport operator. Both are primary considerations in every decision or action we take.

Dubai Airports works closely with our counterparts at Dubai Police, General Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, National Civil Emergency Management Authority and other key aviation organisations, in compliance with national regulations and in line with international standards, to ensure the safety and security of all air travellers and employees at both of Dubai’s airports.

In 2013, the organisation continued to make good progress on a number of programmes designed to improve prevention, reporting and mitigating of any accidents or incidents in order to drive a shared responsibility for safety management among all organisations working at our airports. Our safety management system has proved beneficial in recording trends and assisting in dramatically improving safety standards across both airports, not only against our own standards but also against international standards and best practice.

Safety audits

In 2013 the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the UAE’s aviation regulatory body, carried out audits at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central to make sure an established regulatory structure is in place. Results yielded during airside safety audits conducted by the regulator during 2013 showed an impressive 52 per cent improvement over 2012.

In addition, the organisation dramatically increased participation in our safe unsafe acts audit (SUSA) programme, which was introduced in 2010 to identify and develop safe practices within the airport operation.

In 2013 not only was there a 50 per cent improvement in the number of SUSA audits conducted across both airports when compared to 2012 but showed that all employees have embraced a safety culture.

“In 2013 not only was there a 50 per cent improvement in the number of SUSA audits conducted across both airports when compared to 2012 but showed that all employees have embraced a safety culture.”

Dubai Airports’ annual internal safety and security compliance audit was conducted in 2013 and the target was exceeded, showing the journey to achieving a world-class safety compliance process is firmly on track.

Due to a corporate drive to ensure that all Dubai Airports units include safety and security as part of their objectives, the drop in overall lost time injuries exceeded 25 per cent in 2013. Over the past four years there has been an 80 per cent reduction in lost time injuries for Dubai Airports staff and contractors, driving us closer to our zero lost time injury target. However, even with these encouraging results, Dubai Airports continues to pursue even greater safety across our properties and ensure that this continuous success is balanced against a true safety culture.

Safety awareness

Multilevel and multilingual communication and awareness campaigns were a key element of Dubai Airports’ Safety Awareness Programme in 2013. Specific safety awareness programmes were communicated to an overall audience of 1,620 participants from organisations across the airport.

Dubai Airports also held its annual Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Excellence Awards, the awards event which recognises and celebrates the achievements of our key suppliers. The 2012 HSSE Excellence Awards, held in February 2013, was opened to a wider audience to encompass not only Dubai Airports and their immediate contractors, but also any stakeholders working at our airports whose contractors meet the application requirements.


One of the major priorities for Dubai Airports’ HSSE unit in 2013 was supporting safety and security elements contained in our Strategic Plan 2020 (SP2020). This involved some intense operational readiness trials and project work to ensure key projects were delivered to the highest safety and security standards.

A key project was the opening of the Passenger Terminal Building at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. In September last year the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the sole regulator of all licenced airfields within the UAE, certified DWC for passenger operations after assessing and confirming full compliance of the aerodrome with its stringent requirements. This paved the way for a successful opening of the new building to passengers on October 27, 2013.

“This paved the way for a successful opening of the new building to passengers on October 27, 2013.”

Also during 2013, Dubai Airports developed a new security master programme which set the guidelines, standards and best international practises for build, people and process, which will support the delivery of both SP2020 and SP2050 and produce improved safety and security compliance and service to our customers. This programme ensures smooth co-operation with all key stakeholders and regulators both locally and internationally to meet our safety requirements.

In order to further improve security standards and the overall customer experience new technology improvements were adopted, including new automatic tray return machines (See service), explosive trace detection machines and the new AMIN pass office system.