Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

An air traffic control tower is shown in this file photo. Saudi women will soon be working as air traffic controllers, according to the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS).
Updated 20 September 2017

Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

RIYADH: Saudi women will be trained to work as air traffic controllers, the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) has announced.
SANS said it was offering theoretical and practical training to 80 women per year to prepare them for work in the air traffic control sector.
“The applicants began taking admission exams on Sunday for the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation and will undergo a number of editorial tests,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in a report.
Applicants must have a high school diploma with high marks and be between 18 and 25, it said.
Saudi Arabia seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil.
Its Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Some of the planned changes, like increasing the number of women in the overall workforce to 28 percent from 23 percent and quadrupling their presence in senior civil service roles to 5 percent, would transform society.
Most employed women work for the Kingdom’s vast public sector, primarily in health and education, but authorities say they seek to encourage more hiring by private firms as part of the Vision 2030 plan.
Last year, a senior scholar said women should be allowed to work as paramedics and opticians, and last month women staffed an emergency call center at the Hajj pilgrimage for the first time.


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 58 min 58 sec ago

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”