RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh Al-Jasser highlighted the success of the national aviation strategy in making Saudi Arabia more globally connected during the 15th International Conference on Air Services Negotiations in Riyadh.
Al-Jasser, who also chairs the General Authority of Civil Aviation, said that the strategy encompasses plans to swiftly advance the country’s air transport sector, including expanding the flight network of Saudi airports.
Speaking at a ministerial session titled “The Impact of Air Transport on Economic Development” at the ICAN 2023 of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Al-Jasser noted the development of airport infrastructure across the Kingdom. This includes the construction of new airports, such as the King Salman Airport in Riyadh, and enhancing air service levels at all airports. The focus is also on transforming the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah into a global air service hub and increasing aircraft numbers.
He said that the ministry’s goal is to boost the transport and logistics sector’s contribution to GDP to 10 percent, viewing civil aviation as a key driver.
The session also featured discussions with Indonesian Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi, the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia’s Alva Romanus Baptiste, and Minister of Transport of the Republic of Seychelles Anthony Gerard D’Offay. They shared insights on the role of civil aviation in economic development and global connectivity.
Al-Jasser inaugurated the 15th ICAN conference on Sunday, which was attended by key figures in international aviation. The inauguration was attended by notable figures including GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej and ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.
Al-Jasser also signed a cooperation agreement in air transport services with Minister of Transport and Aviation of Sierra Leone Fanday Turay on the sidelines of the event, which will continue until Thursday.
The agreement complements the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, signed in 1944, aiming to regulate safe and efficient air transport between the two countries and enhance airline competition, safety and civil aviation security standards.
The bilateral agreement is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader strategy to establish international partnerships, sign new bilateral agreements and achieve ambitious goals in enhancing global air connectivity, with plans to become a global logistics hub and handle 330 million passengers annually by 2030.
The agreement also focuses on supporting the mutual economic interests of national airlines, enhancing their role in the air transport market of both countries, and embracing modern approaches to market entry and air transport.
This is part of a broader strategy in the civil aviation sector to forge international partnerships and sign new bilateral agreements. These initiatives are geared toward expanding the Kingdom’s global air network to 250 destinations.