RIYADH – To unite international leaders from both sectors; the public and private, as well as international CEOs and regulators to initialize the evolution of international air travel as well providing new solutions, Saudi Arabia’s first future-aviation forum was held on the ninth and tenth of this month mainly focusing on passenger experience, sustainability, and aviation business recovery post the global pandemic; COVID19. Without further ado, here’s a recap of the two days of the first Future Aviation Forum ever.
After two challenging years in the industry of aviation, HE Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s minister of transport and logistics and the chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), opened the first-of-its-kind aviation event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, that brought together more than 120 speakers, attended by more than two thousand visitors from the industry of aviation, by welcoming the guests and speakers to the event, highlighting that his country is into the start of a significant reform of the aviation industry in the 21st century:
“Saudi Arabia today is at the start of the most significant aviation industry reform in the 21st century. In line with our vision 2030 goals, we are opening the Kingdom and welcoming the world, we are unlocking the aviation potential to ensure sustainable practices and to create world-class employment for our people.”Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics and the Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
The forum began with the Saudi’s minster opening speech that included important goals and vision to be achieved in the aviation sector in Saudi Arabia as well as revealing the National Aviation Sector Strategy; a 100-billion-dollars strategy, that aims to increase connections from Saudi Arabia to 250 destinations, reaching 330 million passengers by 2030 and 5 million tons of freight.
“Over the next 10 years the Kingdom will emerge as the middle east’s leading aviation hub, and as a partner of choice for the aviation operators throughout the world, to do this, the government will drive investment of more than US$100BN of public and private investments by the end of the decade. We forecast to fly more than 330 million passengers in 2030 and 5 million tons of freights establishing connections to more than 250 destinations.”Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics and the Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
And talking about Saudi Arabia, the investment will be mainly for upgrading the existing airports, naming King Abdelaziz and King Khalid International Airports in Jeddah and Riyadh respectively, KSA’s main hubs, and launching a new national carrier.
The president of the council, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Salvatore Sciacchitano, began his speech by congratulating Saudi Arabia for its commitment to greener skies and a sustainable future.
Under the slogan “Keeping the World Moving” ICAO council’s president focused on the following points:
- Digitilizing travel documents will play a big role in transforming the travel experience for passengers and will lead global aviation operations seamless.
- Dealing with climate change needs in the aviation industry is a must, considering that it is a matter of urgency.
- The development of international civil aviation is key to global cooperation and understanding.
Also pleasingly, the ICAO council’s president has confirmed the recovery of 75% of air traffic by the end of 2022, compared to 2019.
The Future Aviation Forum demonstrated the evolution of Saudi Arabia in developing a substantial aviation environment. Besides that, the forum highlighted that to achieve sustainability; biofuels must be relied on, as said by Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, prince Abdelaziz bin Salman; that a low-carbon fuel for aviation could emerge as the transitionary fuel for the future.
During the forum, it was interesting that although oil is an essential factor in Saudi Arabia’s economy, many speakers mentioned that Saudi Arabia is properly placed to be a major player in renewable energy and, principally, in the production of green hydrogen
Finally and after two days of all-aviation-related sessions, talks, interviews, and expert speakers, HE Al-Jasser closed the Future Aviation Forum 2022, announcing that the forum will be hosted by the Kingdom every two years.
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