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Airport Modernization Summit 2016

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is pursuing an unprecedented opportunity in air travel to attain competitive growth. With more than 40 million travelers passing through Saudi Arabia’s airports every year, the Kingdom has identified civil aviation as a key pillar for economic development, earmarking US$5 billion in an initial phase of investments over four years. The objective is to open the sector and modernize it, transforming Saudi Arabia into an important air transport hub for east/west routes that would result in 50,000 new jobs. The longer-term goal is for the civil aviation sector to contribute more than SR25 billion (approximately $6.7 billion) annually to the national economy by 2020.

In the past few years, the Saudi Arabian government faced with burgeoning population growth on one hand and rapid economic development on the other, has channeled billions of dollars towards development of the nation's infrastructure, most of which will be spent on upgrading the kingdom's transport and utilities networks.
Airport Modernization Summit 2016
Foreign companies will be allowed to invest in Saudi Arabian airports being privatized without the need for local partners, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced on Tuesday.

Local investments in some airports will be capped at 25 percent to ensure foreign operators have a majority holding in operating contracts, Faisal Al-Sugair, vice-chairman of GACA, said.

The Kingdom plans to privatize its international and domestic airports by 2020, GACA officials said at a news conference. As part of the process, some would first be “corporatized” — restructured to operate like a company while remaining state owned, the officials said.

“All international companies, operators, who are qualified, can participate ... there is no requirement for a local partner, that’s up to the companies,” Al-Sugair said.

Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport will shift to a corporate structure in the first quarter of 2016, Al-Sugair said. However, the airport’s new Terminal 5 will be run as a concession by Dublin Airport Authority before the rest of the airport is itself privatized, he said.

Airports in the Arab world see billions of dollars in the form of new investments, as countries in the region stepped up their efforts to boost the aviation sector.

The oil rich economies, hit by the major decline in crude prices since June 2014, could be looking at the sector as a catalyst for their developments in non-hydrocarbon sectors. The latest figures show that they are pumping in billions of dollars to expand existing airports and build new ones.

There are $32.7bn worth of airport investments underway or planned in the UAE alone, while Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the region, recently announced its plan to privatize Jeddah and Dammam airports in 2017 to attract more funding from foreign companies.

Dubai has planned to invest more than $8bn into its Al Maktoum International Airport as part of a broader push into the cargo-moving business and passenger traffic. The partly operational airport has a projected annual capacity of 12 million tones’ of freight and 160 to 260m passengers. The expansion is set for completion in 2022.

The emirate’s aviation sector is projected to support more than a million jobs by 2030, with the total economic impact on the emirate set to grow to $88.1bn, according to research firm Oxford Economics.

Abu Dhabi is planning to open its new Midfield Terminal building in July 2017. The $2.9bn terminal, spread across 700,000 square meters, will be able to process 48m passengers by 2025.

Meanwhile, the $600m Ajman International Airport is scheduled to be completed by 2018. It is expected to handle more than 1m passengers annually.

Sharjah is also investing massively to expand its airport with a 2030 master plan. Nispana proudly announces “Airport Modernization Summit” scheduled to take place on the 8 & 9 May 2016 in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The theme for this exclusive forum is “The evolution of smart and futuristic airports”. The 2 Day Summit will provide the main stake holders with an ideal platform to come together and listen to real-time case study presentations by global leaders, network with peers, exchange ideas and source some of the latest technology that can be used to modernize the existing airports and develop airports of the future.

Leading government authorities along with a host of suppliers and solution providers will be a part of this summit showcasing their latest technology, innovation, product offerings. The event will provide an excellent networking opportunity with key decision-makers to know about airport expansions, modernization programmes and most importantly business opportunities.

Summit Dates - 8th & 9th May 2016
Place - Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Venue - TBD

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 17th March 2016.

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