‘Send my bags to the resort please’: Welcome to TRSDC’s new airport

Exclusive Unlike current standards, the entire operational plans for travel processes at RSI ensure top- notch customer services and create an environment that offers a seamless, unmatched and hassle-free experience.
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Unlike current standards, the entire operational plans for travel processes at RSI ensure top- notch customer services and create an environment that offers a seamless, unmatched and hassle-free experience.
Exclusive ‘Send my bags to the resort please’: Welcome to TRSDC’s new airport
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Updated 31 July 2022

‘Send my bags to the resort please’: Welcome to TRSDC’s new airport

‘Send my bags to the resort please’: Welcome to TRSDC’s new airport
  • The first phase of this Saudi Vision 2030 project will welcome the first guests early next year

Flight testing held on July 20-21 at the Red Sea International Airport, which is under construction at The Red Sea Project, marks the beginning of a new era of tourism and travel in the Kingdom.

With over five hours’ drive from the nearest existing major international airports of Jeddah or Madinah and over two hours from the nearest regional international airports of Yanbu or AlUla, RSI airport will bring domestic and international guests to the doorstep of this new global tourism destination.

Deliberately located some 20km from the sensitive coastal lagoons and islands, home to precious mangroves and reefs, the airport is tucked away on an open plain between the coastal dunes and the mountains.

The first phase of this Saudi Vision 2030 project will welcome the first guests early next year, and the airport’s developers are determined to make the travelers’ experience unique.

TRSP in itself is a unique regenerative development with the vast majority of land and marine area remaining untouched and the carefully selected development intervention set to achieve an environmental net-positive benefit by 2040. In addition, the supporting infrastructure, such as the new airport, has been sensitively approached to stay true to the vision and values of the project's developer The Red Sea Development Co.

TRSDC Airport Project Executive Director Joseph Stratford, a civil and environmental engineer who has spent most of his career in airport infrastructure delivery in the Middle East, is spearheading the project.

He left for his homeland for five years to apply his international airport delivery experience to the expansion of the London Heathrow Airport. He has since returned to the Kingdom to lead on next-generation aviation delivery.

“Red Sea International Airport is one of the smaller airports I have led, but without doubt the most iconic, progressive and special. The architectural concept, mode of operation and guest experience are truly unique,” Stratford told Arab News in an exclusive interview.

 

Red Sea International Airport is the most iconic, progressive and special. The architectural concept, mode of operation and guest experience are truly unique.

Joseph Stratford

Unmatched operating procedures

Unlike current standards, the entire operational plans for travel processes at RSI ensure top-notch customer services and create an environment that offers a seamless, unmatched and hassle-free experience. 

For instance, the aviation team is working toward implementing a unique concept of operations for baggage handling. Passengers at RSI will not have to worry about stopping by a baggage claim area to pick up their bags.

“Instead, the passengers will be escorted to the welcome center in the arrival area. The bags will be processed in a dedicated facility through a state-of-the-art baggage handling system that can track each piece until it is delivered to the owner at their selected destination,” said Abdulaziz Al-Abdan, aviation operations director, RSI airport. 

Additionally, the airport will apply discreet and non-intrusive security arrangements and procedures, enhancing the overall customer experience without infringing any regulatory requirements governing such operations. 

Furthermore, RSI will be the first and only airport in the Middle East and North Africa that serves amphibious seaplanes and is linked to water aerodromes. 

The airport features a dedicated runway for seaplanes and small general aviation aircraft operations, allowing direct air access to the Red Sea destinations. 

“Our aviation team worked closely with the General Authority of Civil Aviation to establish the regulatory framework for water aerodromes, seaplanes and water runways,” said Al-Abdan.

The regulatory framework resulted in the introduction and enforcement of a new set of safety regulations that govern the establishment and operations of water aerodromes GACA Regulations Part 137, as well as agreeing on the certifications for Red Sea Air Services Co. to operate seaplanes and water runways.

 

 




Ammar Ghaith, associate airport infrastructure director, RSI, said the airport will be the
first and last impression of all their distinguished guests.

Magnificent by design

What makes RSI different is it is a high-end tourist destination airport and not a regular civil airport. The scope of its operations includes mobility and hospitality services that begin when guests arrive at the airport until they finally check in to their hotels.

“The airport is an extension to the exclusive resorts at the Red Sea and will be the first and last impression of all our distinguished guests,” said Ammar Ghaith, associate airport infrastructure director, RSI.

It has a unique design with efficient space planning that allows for fewer steps to complete the arrival or departure process, besides minimum human intervention and shortest processing times.

The airport has partnered with key stakeholders to facilitate its flight procedures and airspace networks.

The stakeholders include GACA, Saudi Air Navigation Services, airport aviation consultant United ATS, FlyNas, FlyAdeal, TRSDC Operations, Red Sea Air Services Co., airside contractor Nesma Almabani Joint Venture, water runway consultant Jacobs and airport operator DAA International.

Mobility like never before

Ground and sea-based local mobility to resorts will be by more-sustainable electric vehicles chosen over petrol or diesel engine vehicles.

In the case of air taxis, although initially planned to be by conventional amphibious seaplanes, the airport has a dedicated secondary runway, which will be an early adopter of hydrogen-powered seaplane variants and eVTOL and eSTOL aircraft technology.

While eVTOL is the acronym for electric vertical takeoff and landing technology, eSTOL is electric short takeoff and landing type aircraft.

This approach will enable guests and their baggage to travel quickly, quietly and sustainably to and from resorts with style and pure spectacle.

The air taxi terminal is scheduled to open next year, initially to be used for a combination of air taxi, domestic and general aviation for guest access to the first tranche of hotels. The iconic main terminal building will provide international commercial aviation capability and capacity for successive hotel delivery and operation tranches.

The flight testing initiated recently is a necessary step for all new airports where a purpose-built aircraft laden with specialist equipment maneuvers new runways to test the visual and instrument aids and systems. In addition, it enables pilots to conduct safe and efficient takeoffs and landings in diverse weather and other operating conditions.

Shoring up responsibly

“There has been a quantum leap in recent years in sensitive delivery in this region, in terms of how we approach, plan, deliver and operate facilities like these,” Stratford explained.

“This is, across the board, from the culture of caring for the workforce, environmental protection, processes, quality of product, respect of time and cost. The wider team and I are passionate about ensuring that projects like this are delivered responsibly,” he added.

Stratford earlier lived in TRSP Construction Village Housing accommodation alongside many of the 1,800 contractors’ staff for the airport. He relocated this year to the Coastal Village Residences, where the TRDSC offices, management hotels, apartments, villas and townhouses have accepted staff, suppliers and visitors in the final construction stages of TRSP ahead of the phased opening of the resorts to tourists next year.

“Striving for high standards has been key to the timeliness and quality of delivery of the airport facilities so far,” Stratford said. “Indeed, the airport project has passed nine million safe man-hours worked without a lost time injury.”

TRSDC’s approach aligns with the national and industry leadership mandate that aviation development is a critical enabler of economic growth and should focus on environmental and sustainability implications and challenges.

Stratford added: “Besides providing iconic and progressive facilities in form and function, we have considered sustainability and the environment from the outset.

“For the airfield construction, the contractors have met the highest standards and expectations that I have seen in my career — impact assessments, permitting, monitoring and reporting are taken seriously. The team’s culture, pride, passion, professionalism and care play their part.”

Construction is underway on the passenger terminal facilities, with building structural and envelope packages awarded and commenced. TRSP will be entirely off-grid, including the airport, powered by a solar farm and the world’s largest battery storage facility.

Going high on ratings

Additionally, the airport passenger terminal facilities have followed industry-leading LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the rating system used by the US Green Building Council to measure a building’s sustainability and resource efficiency.

“We have aimed high for a Platinum Rating,” emphasized Stratford. “The detailed design-stage preliminary rating suggests we are on track for a Gold Rating or better, to be confirmed through construction and operation.”

He added: “We have been driven toward requirements, selection of materials, methods, equipment, energy and resources reduction and reuse.”

In theory, some 15 percent of the aviation industry’s carbon challenge is associated with the ground-based airport infrastructure, and the other 85 percent is associated with jet aircraft and flight.

“We’re mindful of our part of the aviation sustainability and carbon challenge, and what we can do with practices and technology of the day, but also looking to what we can do to facilitate emergent technologies and practices,” Stratford informed.

For example, RSI is planning infrastructure for sustainable aviation fuels, ground power and preconditioned air, use of resources and energy-efficient operational practices.


Oil Updates — Crude steady; Myanmar to import Russian oil; Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Myanmar to import Russian oil; Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream
Updated 16 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Myanmar to import Russian oil; Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Myanmar to import Russian oil; Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

RIYADH: Oil prices were little changed on Thursday as investors grappled with falling stockpiles in the US, rising output from Russia and worries about a potential global recession.

Brent crude futures climbed 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $93.75 a barrel by 0347 GMT. 

US crude futures gained 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $88.21 a barrel.

Myanmar to import Russian oil, military says

Military-ruled Myanmar plans to import Russian gasoline and fuel oil to ease supply concerns and rising prices, a junta spokesperson said, the latest developing country to do so amid a global energy crisis.

The Southeast Asian country has maintained friendly ties with Russia, even as both remain under a raft of sanctions from Western countries — Myanmar for a military coup that overthrew an elected government last year, and Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation.”

Russia is seeking new customers for its energy in the region as its biggest export destination, Europe, will impose an embargo on Russian oil in phases later this year.

“We have received permission to import petrol from Russia,” military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said during a news conference on Wednesday, adding that it was favored for its “quality and low cost.”

Fuel oil shipments are due to start arriving from September, according to media.

Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

US refiner Phillips 66 on Wednesday offered to acquire the public units of DCP Midstream in a deal that would value the pipeline operator at a $7.2 billion deal and bulk up Phillip’s natural gas liquids business.

A deal would mark the first major move by Mark Lashier, who took over as the CEO of Phillips 66 last month. Earlier this year, the company acquired the public units in the transportation and storage business Phillips 66 Partners.

Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge, which owned 50 percent of DCP’s general partner, said it would reduce its stake in the company to 13.2 percent from 28.3 percent. It received a $400 million cash payment from Phillips 66 as part of the deal.

Enbridge will, in turn, take over as operator and more than double its stake in the Grey Oak pipeline, previously operated by Phillips 66. The Grey Oak pipeline transport crude oil from West Texas to the Gulf Coast.

Phillips 66’s economic interest in the Gray Oak pipeline will fall to 6.50 percent from 42.25 percent.

Aker Energy postpones Ghana oilfield plan amid Lukoil’s involvement

Norway’s Aker Energy said on Wednesday it would postpone the submission of a development plan for its Pecan oilfield off Ghana amid concern the project could face sanctions over the war in Ukraine due to the involvement of Russian oil firm Lukoil.

Aker Energy, controlled by Aker ASA, owns 50 percent in the deepwater block off Ghana where the Pecan field is located, while Lukoil holds 38 percent, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has 10 percent and Fueltrade 2 percent.

The partners will not submit a development plan to Ghanaian authorities “until the challenges have been resolved,” Aker ASA CEO Oeyvind Eriksen told a call with analysts.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February in what it calls “a special military operation,” prompting unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow and a breakup of economic relations.

“We are continuing a dialogue with Lukoil and Ghanaian authorities about possible solutions,” Eriksen told Reuters, adding that one option was for Lukoil to divest from the project.

Aker said Ghanaian authorities have extended a deadline to submit the plan until Sept. 30.

(With input from Reuters)


TASI starts higher as new earnings reports boost investors’ sentiment: Opening bell

TASI starts higher as new earnings reports boost investors’ sentiment: Opening bell
Updated 10 min 46 sec ago

TASI starts higher as new earnings reports boost investors’ sentiment: Opening bell

TASI starts higher as new earnings reports boost investors’ sentiment: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index started the week’s final session higher as investors took comfort in the release of new earnings reports.

TAS edged up 0.14 percent to 12,664, while the parallel Nomu market started almost flat at 21,513, as of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time.

The Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi rose 0.56 percent, while The Saudi National Bank, the country's largest lender, increased 0.14 percent.

Among the Kingdom's leading information technology firms, Elm and Al Moammar Information Systems Co. declined 0.52 percent and 0.74 percent, respectively.

Red Sea International Co. dropped 0.42 percent, after it secured financing from SABB worth SR35 million.

Taiba Investments Co. rose 0.66 percent, after it turned into a profit of SR55 million ($15 million) in the first half, wiping out losses of SR14.8 million from the same period last year.

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. dropped 2.05 percent, despite reporting a 31 percent increase in profits for the first half of the year to SR138 million.

Sadr Logistics Co. declined 0.57 percent, after it turned into losses of SR3 million during the first six months of 2022.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday
Updated 18 August 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks jumped on Wednesday, thanks to strong first-half earnings despite mixed results from the insurance and cement sectors.

TASI the main index added 0.8 percent to 12,646, while the parallel Nomu market lost 2.3 percent to 21,533, as information technology consulting firm Saudi Networkers Services Co. made a weak stock market debut.

Gulf peers advanced in line with the Kingdom's main benchmark index, led by a 1.8 percent jump for the Qatari bourse.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi gained 1.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain. While the Omani index edged 0.1 percent lower.

Elsewhere, Egypt’s EGX30 soared 2.2 percent after the country’s president accepted the resignation of central bank governor Tarek Amer, the presidential office said.

In energy trading, Brent crude traded at $93.7 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate slipped to $88.08 a barrel as of 9:14 a.m. Saudi time on Thursday.

Stock news

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co. reported a higher profit of SR138 million ($37 million) for the first half of 2022, on the back of sales growth

Malath Cooperative Insurance Co. posted a 216 percent higher net loss before Zakat of SR25 million for the first half of 2022

Taiba Investments Co. was back to a profit of SR55 million in the first half of 2022 as hospitality sales rose post the pandemic

Red Sea International Co. secured SR35 million worth of financing from SABB 

CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance Co.'s half-year profit before Zakat declined 54.8 percent to SR3 million

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co.’s losses narrowed by 20 percent to SR35 million in the first half of 2022

SABB Takaful issued its board’s circular regarding the offer document for the merger with Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co.

National Gas and Industrialization Co. announced it is studying the feasibility of partnering with UK’s Aburi Composites and Front End Co. to operate a joint composite cylinder factory

Naba Alsaha’s initial public offering for listing on Nomu was concluded with 531 percent coverage

Andalus Property Co. appointed Mashal Ibrahim Abuneef as its acting CEO effective Sep. 1

Tabuk Agricultural Development Co. signed a contract to sell its industrial potatoes to Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. for SR4.3 million

Calendar

August 18, 2022

Rawasi Albina Investment Co. will start trading its shares on Nomu


Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1
Updated 18 August 2022

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

Taiba Investments returns to profits of $15m on pandemic recovery in H1

RIYADH: Taiba Investments Co. has turned into a profit of SR55 million ($15 million) in the first half of the year, wiping out losses of SR14.8 million from the same period last year.

The results are primarily due to the gradual recovery of Taiba’s activities from the COVID 19 pandemic, it said in a bourse filing.

Its revenues soared 103 percent to SR134 million during the first six months of 2022.

Ramadan and the Hajj season contributed to increased hospitality revenues and improved lease performance for the company's properties during the period, it said.

Listed in the Saudi main index, Taiba Investments Co. specializes in investing in real estate, tourism, maintenance, operations, industry, mining, agriculture, and trade.


Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1
Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

Saudi retailer Al Othaim Markets’ profit jumps 31% to $37m as sales soar in H1

RIYADH: Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. reported a higher profit of SR138 million ($37 million) for the first half of 2022 on the back of sales growth.

Owing to an 11 percent rise in revenue to SR4.7 billion, profit surged 31 percent from SR106 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.

The retail major noted that its share in the profit of its associate Gulf Flour Milling Co. boosted this period’s results, as it was not recorded in the prior year.

However, it incurred higher costs from opening new stores and enhancing competencies in senior positions, in addition to the fact that profits from its mall unit, Abdullah Al-Othaim Investment Co., were derecognized.

In a separate filing, the retailer declared a dividend payout for the first half of the year amounting to SR180 million, representing SR2 per share, to be paid in September.