Future of Saudi Arabia’s airports to be Showcased at November Exhibition

Photo Credit: Harrison Rowe/AviationSource

LONDONAviationSource recently reported that aircraft manufacturer Boeing anticipates Saudi Arabia will kick on and become a huge player in the Middle Eastern aviation space over the next 10 years.

Using a hundred billion dollar fund from both government and private sources, the Saudi Aviation Strategy wants to triple air traffic by 2030. 

With this, investment in and development of airports is becoming a key objective to ensure the increase in passenger traffic can be handled efficiently.

Early November will see a two-day “Future Airport Development and Investment Summit” held at Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh.

Experts say that Saudi Arabia is striving to undertake massive upgrades and expansion of airports as they bid to get to serving 330 million passengers over the next decade. Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz airport is currently in the midst of a hundred billion dollar expansion, one which hopes to culminate in being able to serve 80 million passengers annually by 2035.

This project tops the list compiled by the ‘GlobalData Construction Projects Database’ for being the most expensive ‘in hand’ airport construction project anywhere in the world. 

Leaders from many corners of the industry will be speaking at the summit: Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Airports Company; Lorenzo di Loreto, Managing Director, Munich Airport International; Capt Rabiu Yadudu Hamisu, CEO of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, to name a few. 

Those planned to be in attendance include Kashif Khalid, the Regional Director for the Middle East & Africa, IATA, and Michael Schneider, the Executive Vice President of Airports at Siemens Logistics.

All of the above will come together to discuss many of the current 663 active airport projects from across the globe. These projects total over half a trillion in US dollars and are forecasted to be hitting just under $1.5 trillion by 2026.

Andrew Tan, Director and Head of Airport operations for Changi Airports International, said this about attending the summit: “Changi Airports International is delighted to be invited as a panelist at the Saudi Airport Exhibition. We will be speaking on a theme close to our ethos: Passenger Centric Thinking to Prepare the Airports of Tomorrow”.

“We look forward to meeting with key players in the booming Middle East aviation market and exchanging insights with industry experts across the world,” he added.

With experts in many different technologies and fields attending the convention, we get insight into what the future may hold for The Kingdom’s airports.

Volker Brandt, CEO of Tramak GmbH, who specializes in Artificial Intelligence used for baggage identification, will be in attendance to share his company’s knowledge and expertise. 

Away from operational processing, but still equally important. Rena Baba, Director for ExperienceLab at Serco, will be there sharing how to best get a ‘customer-centric’ construction of the airport to ensure visitors’ path through the airport is seamless and hassle-free.

When hoping to process 80 million travelers per year, a friendly design has a huge impact on customer experience.

“Fundamentally, great experiences create loyalty and recurring visitors that will continue to choose KSA as a destination. By prioritizing user-centered design, airports in the Kingdom have a great chance to get it right,” Baba noted.  

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