Dubai takes TopSky to overhaul air traffic management

Dubai International (DXB) is to overhaul its air traffic management (ATM) system with the introduction of Thales TopSky air traffic control system(ATC). The new air traffic control system will support the Northern Emirates airspace where Dubai is the key driver for air traffic growth and volumes. 

An Emirates A380 at Dubai International (Image Thales)

An Emirates A380 at DXB. New ATM solutions will enable the airport and the surrounding airspace to grow to meet new demands (Image: Thales)


Although traffic numbers have been down because if the aviation slump as a result of Covid. Dubai’s numbers meant the airport maintained it’s world status with the delayed EXPO 2020 drawining visitrs from around the globe. The UAE anticipates a return to pre-Covid capacity.

The European technology company was awarded the contract by Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) saying the cutting-edge solution is an adaptive technology, capable of meeting the evolving challenges for Northern Emirates airspace,

Operated by DANS – Dubai Air Navigation Services – whose air traffic controllers provide approach services throughout the Northern Emirates,  the system complies with the highest national and international standards, and as well as with ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) roadmap. With an easily adaptable system configuration, TopSky - ATC is ready to support and enable restructuring of the UAE’s airspace. The controllers will be able to monitor real-time data updates safely and efficiently, contributing to data sharing for collaborative decision-making. The Thales system also makes it easier for controllers to handle fluctuations in traffic volume, changing weather, and all types of situations that can influence air traffic control decisions at any time, Thales said in a statement.

“With the ongoing series of strategic expansions and development projects through the DAEP, Dubai International Airport is exponentially growing its passengers and cargo handling capacity, number of plane movements and the network of connected destinations” said Suzanne AlEnany, chief executive of DAEP.  .

“The partnership with Thales will strengthen our technological efficiency and fortify further our resilience to manage the ATM, the most critical airport operations”.

Thales executive vice president, Christophe Saomen said that Thales had been a partner with the UAE for more than 45 years. “Together, we are shaping the future of air travel and building a greener tomorrow," he said.

Alan Peaford

Alan Peaford MBE

Alan is a regular broadcaster and is the consultant editor-in-chief and presenter for Times Aerospace TV and is a regular commentator on aviation issues for many global broadcasting channels. He is conference chairman of the Aviation Africa summit and the Aviation MENA summit and has moderated or chaired conferences for organisations such as IATA, DCAA, the Global Aerospace Summit and business aviation associations in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.