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Saudi Future Aviation Forum will turbo boost business deals and recovery

Download: Printable PDF Date: 09 May 2022 07:50 (UTC) category:
Saudi Future Aviation Forum will turbo boost business deals and recovery - Events / Festivals publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: Saudi Arabia Aircraft: Airplanes

Global aviation leaders are gathering in Riyadh next week for the Future Aviation Forum, from May 9th to 11th. More than 50 business deals are set to be agreed at the Forum, turbocharging collaboration between governments, major corporations, international airlines, airport operators and international organizations.

The Forum will set the future direction of aviation following the Covid-19 pandemic by tackling the aviation sector’s most pressing issues around business growth, sustainability, and passenger experience. The event also heralds Saudi Arabia’s ambition to become the Middle East’s preeminent aviation hub by 2030.

“Saudi Arabia is at the start of the most significant aviation industry reform of the 21st Century, which will bring huge opportunities for the private sector and create thousands of jobs for Saudi Arabia’s people. We are bringing together the top leaders and brightest minds from the global aviation sector to collaborate and develop innovative solutions that will drive the sector into the future,” said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics.

Global aviation leaders speaking at the Forum include Salvatore Sciacchitano, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council President; Tony Douglas, CEO, Etihad Airways; and Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As well as senior representatives from Boeing, SITA, Airbus and SAP. Travel thought leader and author Doug Lansky will speak at the Forum, alongside world-renowned futurologist Magnus Lindkvist, and the world’s leading aviation blogger, Sam Chui. Representatives from around 30 different countries, ranging from the UK, to Malaysia, to Sweden, are set to speak at the event, including a raft of government ministers.

The theme of the Forum is ‘innovation, sustainability, growth’, reflecting both the key challenges and areas of greatest opportunity for the global aviation sector. Hosted by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the Forum will feature more than 120 speakers, with over 2,000 attendees and representatives from every continent expected to attend. A policy proposal to benefit the global aviation system will also be unveiled by GACA at the Forum.

Delegates have been invited to attend more than 40 sessions and side events looking at issues such as aviation’s role in the post-pandemic global economy, alternative low-carbon aviation fuels, and how new design will transform the passenger experience. Key side events happening at the Forum include a meeting of the Regional Safety Oversight Organization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA-RSOO), a roundtable for director generals of civil aviation authorities hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the first meeting of the Middle East North Africa Aircraft Accident and incident Investigation Regional Cooperation Mechanism (MENA ARCM) Committee.

“The dozens of deals and agreements that will be made at the Future Aviation Forum will help foster collaboration and mobilize the investment needed to modernize the global aviation sector,” said GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej.  “Under Vision 2030, we are opening the Kingdom to welcome the world and unlocking the potential of the Kingdom’s aviation sector. We are investing in our aviation system on an unprecedented scale, and we are actively seeking private-sector partners with the expertise to help us to achieve our ambitions.”

Saudi Arabia’s transport and logistics sector, a major pillar of the Vision 2030 economic transformation plan, is undergoing rapid development. The Kingdom aims to generate 356 billion SAR – or just under $100 billion USD – in investment into its aviation sector by 2030 to make Saudi Arabia a global aviation hub. GACA’s National Aviation Sector Strategy (NASS) aims to increase air connectivity to 250 destinations, reaching 330 million passengers, and to double air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons. 

The Kingdom also has plans to launch a new national airline to complement its existing national carriers and to build a major new international airport in Riyadh, in addition to eight new regional airports.

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