100 million passengers pass through Saudi airports in 2018

GACA is developing airport facilities and infrastructure to meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan. (SPA)
Updated 17 March 2019

100 million passengers pass through Saudi airports in 2018

  • King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh,placed second with 27.9 million passengers

JEDDAH: Last year was a record for flights and passengers at the Kingdom’s airports, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported citing official statistics.
The General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said on Saturday that there were 99.86 million passengers and 771,828 flights in 2018 compared to 92.42 million passengers and 741,923 flight for 2017, a growth rate of 8 percent for passengers and 4.1 percent for flights.
The number of flights at international airports was 741,893, transporting 97.3 million passengers, while there were 29,935 flights and 2.6 million passengers at domestic airports.
King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah recorded the highest footfall with 35.8 million passengers.
King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, placed second with 27.9 million passengers.
The UAE topped the destination list for international passenger traffic.
GACA is developing airport facilities and infrastructure to meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan, and raise its contribution to the Saudi economy and gross domestic product.

 

 


Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 21 January 2020

Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.

Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.

The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”

Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.

“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”

Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”

 

The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.

“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.

Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.

“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”

The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.

“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.