RIYADH: Saudi aviation chiefs have given take-off clearance for the building of a giant cargo terminal at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
The president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri, on Wednesday granted a license to Singapore company SATS for the provision of freight services at the capital’s airport.
The green light for the scheme came during the inauguration ceremony of the cargo village project, also for King Khalid International Airport, held under the patronage of Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar and attended by Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the Saudi transport minister and GACA chairman.
The authority’s partnership with SATS is aimed at improving the operational efficiency of air freight services and logistical integration at regional and international levels in a bid to achieve the Kingdom’s goal of becoming a key transport hub linking three continents.
Under the agreement, SATS will build its cargo terminal in two stages covering a total area of 60,000 square meters. On completion, the complex will be capable of handling 600,000 tons of cargo a year, with the first phase of construction expected to be finished by mid-2022.
SATS will also offer facilities to handle perishable goods and pharmaceutical products.
The second cargo terminal at the city airport will cater for around 40 percent of the Kingdom’s air freight through connections with the Singapore company’s terminals in Dammam, Oman and other Asian countries.
The licensing deal is part of the Saudi leadership’s Vision 2030 plans to support the logistical sector in the Kingdom via partnership projects between the public and private sectors while aiming for a top 25 world ranking for quality service.
Meanwhile, the Riyadh cargo village will form part of an integrated plan to boost the operational efficiency of the Kingdom’s air transport sector.
The multi-functional shipment and clearance destination will be the first of its kind in the Middle East. Spread over 275,000 square meters, it will have an annual handling capacity of 1.6 million tons and also provide shipping and express cargo services.
The cargo village project is being carried out in line with the requirements of the International Air Transport Association.