The number of passengers flying in and out of the UAE increased 13.5 per cent in October compared with September, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The rise follows 20 per cent growth in passenger numbers at the country’s airports in September, compared with August.

“Before the recession, there was double-digit monthly growth in the aviation sector. During the recession, we maintained single-digit growth and starting in August, it started towards double-digit [growth again],” said Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA, at MEED’s Abu Dhabi Conference on 10 November.

Al-Suwaidi also said the UAE is not planning to build more airports because some of its existing ones have yet to reach maximum capacity.

About 50 million passengers a year use the UAE’s airports. The GCAA hopes passenger numbers will increase significantly when Al-Maktoum International airport opens in June 2010.

Al-Maktoum International has capacity for 120 million passengers a year.