Saudi aviation chief calls to encourage, train industry’s next generation

SAC is considered one of the best known aviation clubs in the world. (SPA/File)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Saudi aviation chief calls to encourage, train industry’s next generation

  • Prince Fahd said that the industry will experience remarkable development in the coming years
  • The size of the global market is expected reach $4.4 trillion

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia needs to establish more clubs and academies to educate and train young men and women for the expanding aviation industry, said Prince Fahd bin Mishaal bin Saud, vice-chairman of the Saudi Aviation Club (SAC).

During a speech at the Prince Fahd Symposium titled “Aviation is a Way of Life,” he added that one of the aims of the SAC is to help spread a culture of aviation. 

Prince Fahd said that the industry will experience remarkable development in the coming years and that “aviation today and tomorrow will be a way of life, a human need and not a luxury.”

He added: “There is a lot of research to develop transport technology, such as the Hyperloop, the so-called bullet trains, electric cars and many more. But no matter how advanced these techniques are, air-transport techniques will always be ahead of them because the secret is simply in the air and above the ground. It shortens the distance and accelerates access.” Therefore, there are great opportunities open to young men and women, he said, but they must seize them now.

According to a report from Boeing, he said, airlines in the Middle East are expected to take delivery of 3,310 new aircraft at a cost of $770 billion by 2035, more than double the number of existing aircraft. In addition, according to a 2017 report by the International Air Transport Association, the Middle East achieved the world’s highest growth rate in passenger traffic, at 11.8 percent. 

Prince Fahd said the size of the global market is expected reach $4.4 trillion, with the Middle East accounting for 5 percent of this total, a figure calculated before the recent announcements of the Neom and the Red Sea projects. 

He pointed out that in the next 20 years “we will need 64,000 pilots, 66,000 technicians and 97,000 air-service crews. Despite these large numbers which we aspire to reach, we are still late in the qualification outputs and we do not have enough academies, institutes and clubs.”

These are needed to motivate more young men and women to enter the field of aviation, he said. Another obstacle is that it costs a lot of money to join existing academies, he said, adding: “Therefore, we must seek urgent solutions to attract them.”


Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

Updated 23 March 2019
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Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

  • Princess Jamila’s camel will compete in a race marking the conclusion of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
  • King Salman will attend the grand finale of the 46-day event

JEDDAH: A camel owned by a woman will compete in an official race in Saudi Arabia for the first time, a senior figure in the sport said on Friday.

Fahd bin Hithleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Camel Club and the newly appointed president of the International Camel Organization (ICO), said the race is part of the closing day of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, which began on Feb. 5 and ends on March 23.

“The camel race will end this Saturday with the participation of the first female in camel racing,” Hithleen said on his official Twitter account. “I congratulate Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz for breaking into the camel world and wish her all the success.”

The festival finale will take place in the presence of King Salman.

Princess Jamila said that camel racing is no longer exclusively the preserve of men, as the ongoing reforms in the country continue to empower Saudi women and open up new opportunities for them across the Kingdom.

The Kingdom established the ICO, the first global group of its kind for camels, on Thursday with the participation of representatives from 96 countries. Riyadh was chosen as the location for its headquarters and Hithleen was appointed to serve a five-year term as its first president.