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Global Watchdog Flags Multiple Safety Issues At Beirut Airport

Concerns raised relating to air-traffic control must be urgently addressed, says the report.

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global watchdog flags multiple safety issues at beirut airport

An inspection of the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut has revealed inadequate safety measures, many of which require urgent action.

The report, carried out by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), highlights issues concerning in-air navigation services (ANS) that must be addressed with “utmost urgency”. The problem areas include air-traffic control, navigation, communication, and meteorological services.

ICAO conducts regular audits on the air infrastructure of member states to assess their capability to maintain adequate safety systems.

As a signatory to the Chicago Convention, Lebanon must comply with any prescribed ICAO standards and recommended best practices.

In the event of an immediate safety concern, ICAO can “red flag” a country over any breach of international aviation regulations. Bhutan, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are examples of such states.

While the governments of red-flagged countries are not legally obliged to make changes after a negative audit, the results serve as a warning to inbound airlines and travelers from other nations. In extreme cases, authorities may ban flights originating from offending countries from entering their airspace.

According to the audit, “ATC staff shortage is a serious safety issue for the Beirut Airport, which could have critical repercussions for aviation in Lebanon”.

Also Read: A Guide To Digital Payment Methods In The Middle East

The report stressed it was of “crucial importance” for Lebanon’s civil aviation authorities to begin the “recruitment and retention of appropriately qualified and experienced ATS staff” as “a matter of utmost urgency”.

Another major concern related to an absence of procedures to keep obstacle registries up to date and to verify the functionality of navigation systems. “Lebanon shall ensure that identified safety issues are resolved in a timely manner,” the report demanded.

The lack of air-traffic controllers has long been an issue for Lebanon but has intensified due to the country’s severe economic crisis. The national currency has now lost 97% of its value, pushing 80% of the population below the poverty line.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

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Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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