Aviation sector-specific FM service delivery would benefit from a market-wide revamp of how contracts are designed and implemented, it was reiterated during a roundtable discussion held on the topic with industry leaders last month. Hosted at fmME’s headquarters in Dubai, the roundtable was attended by experts from various walks of the FM sector.

The group also discussed how increased collaboration between clients and FM contractors would benefit the aviation management sector.

The panel featured soft service specialists such as Alain El Tawil, managing partner of high-access cleaning firm Grako, which provides external cleaning at heights for Dubai Airports, and Samer Hani, general manager for Cleanco’s Abu Dhabi operation.

Cleanco was recently awarded a contract by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) – which operates Abu Dhabi Airport, Al Ain Airport, and Al Bateen airport – to provide cleaning, waste management, landscaping, and pest control services.

FM contractors attending the roundtable included Joanna Spruce, director of business development and marketing at Farnek Services, and Daniela Ina Voicu, representing Klüh Multiservices Germany, of which Berkeley Services is a subsidiary.

Farnek’s clientele in the aviation sector includes Emirates airline and Etihad Airways, while Berkeley’s aviation client list includes Dubai Airports and Dnata. Internationally, Klüh also provides services at airports in Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, and Dresden.

They were joined on the panel by Rukhsana Kausar, partner at Liquid of Life – which counts, among other firms, Etihad Airways as a client – and Faisal AbdulRahim Al Belooshi, senior director for FM at Dubai Airport Free Zone’s (DAFZA) customer relations and licensing division.

Grako’s El Tawil kicked off the discussion by explaining the regional aviation sector’s significance: “Three out of the world’s top 10 airlines – Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways – are from the Middle East which I think is a fantastic achievement for the region.

“Meanwhile, Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the largest when it comes to international passengers, and it registered a 7.2% increase in passenger numbers in 2016 over 2015.”

Al Belooshi pointed out that while the US’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is currently the world’s busiest airport – more than 104 million passengers used the facility in 2016, according to a CNN report this March – DXB appears to be on track to take over the top spot within a few years.

The conversation led to the question of how FM companies might contribute to this anticipated growth, with the panel agreeing that client collaboration through a partnership-driven approach might be a step in the right direction.

Farnek’s Spruce explained: “We work with Dubai Airports in the aviation sector, and the partnership element is key to our relationship.