"There's no natural single regional body that can grab the issue and deal with it," says John Swift, a former manager of air traffic control at Dubai International Airport.
"There's no doubt that congestion is the biggest challenge facing the aviation industry in the Middle East," says Mr Swift, now the Middle East director at NATS, which runs the UK's air traffic services.
Civil and military aircraft use airspace according to need, Mr Swift
"Both sides are able to carry out their business and national defence operations without problem.
"Aviation officials from the Middle East who visit NATS in the UK are often surprised to see civil and military controllers sitting side by side," he says.
"But it is an approach that the region could certainly benefit from."
, who advised UAE authorities on airspace issues for the construction of Dubai's new airport, says technology is not an issue.
Many Gulf countries have state-of-the-art air traffic management systems.
The UAE's Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre was opened in 2009, and is one of the most sophisticated in the world.
So, unlocking more military airspace for civil use is not a technical problem, Mr Swift
"If people start losing faith in the business model, that will be a serious problem," Mr Swift
"Eventually, people will have to start thinking about about protecting their investment.
An aircraft on the ground does not make money."
describes airspace as an "invisible infrastructure" that should be treated and managed like an economic asset.