Airport Modernization Summit
11 October 2016Riyadh
The Kingdom’s aviation sector is set to play a significant role in the government’s economic diversification efforts and the Saudi government has already earmarked $10.65 billion (SAR 39.4 billion) to build and upgrade more than 20 airports to help accommodate its fast growing aviation industry. With the successful launch of the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, the first airport in Saudi Arabia to be constructed and operated entirely by the private sector following a Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) Agreement, the regulators have announced the plans to privatize airports as a means to support Kingdom’s finances. This will allow foreign companies to invest in the Saudi Arabian airports without the need for local partners. The Saudi Arabian Airports see an annual increase of more than 10% of passengers and 5% of aircraft operations. 70% of goods bound to the Middle-East are destined for Saudi Arabia and the government is focused to increase its cargo handling capacity to circumvent the need for shipments to transship through neighbouring GCC countries.