Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia to Support Countries Failing to Apply Air Safety Norms | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55355104

Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SVA 226 is isolated on the tarmac after its passengers and crew were evacuated following a bomb threat, at the Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia announced it will reveal regional initiatives to boost air safety and security during the Global Aviation Ministerial Summit that will be held in Riyadh under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, on August 29-31, 2016.

Captain Abdul Hakim Al-Badar, assistant vice president at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), said that the Kingdom would financially support a program launched by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aimed at assisting countries that are unable to implement international standards and norms related to air safety. He added that the amount of funding would be announced during the summit.

Badar said that Saudi Arabia was considered a safe country with regards to air safety, adding that tight cooperation was maintained between security bodies and the civil aviation authority.

He also noted that terrorism was currently one of the major threats to airports’ security, adding that the Kingdom has previously dedicated more than USD 100 million to the United Nations Action to Counter Terrorism.

Badar said that security measures at airports were updated regularly to face emerging challenges and threats.

During a press conference held on Sunday at GACA’s headquarters in Riyadh, Badar said that a recent study conducted by ICAO showed that the number of travelers around the world would increase from 3.3 billion travelers in 2014 to 7 billion travelers in 2034. ICAO also estimated that the aviation sector’s global contribution to the gross national product would increase from USD 2.4 trillion to USD 6 trillion in 2034. The number of jobs provided by this sector will also reach 105 million jobs, compared to 58 million offers in 2014, according to the study.

Badar said that the Saudi aviation strategy was aimed at promoting air safety based on the most advanced security standards and implementing relevant international laws and regulations.

The summit will be attended by more than 55 transport ministers from various countries around the world.

Badar said the event will be the first of its kind to be organized at this global level, where participants and guest speakers represent more than 150 countries from around the world, in addition to organizations and global civil aviation authorities.

The summit will see the sharing of best practices to improve cooperation in areas of safety and security, in addition to promoting regional initiatives and supporting coordination with other regional and international organizations.