Saudi airports are looking to cater to 330 million travellers by 2030.

Leading regional officials and global aviation experts at the inaugural Saudi Airport Exhibition put the spotlight on the kingdom’s agenda for growth that will see $147 billion expansion work for the air transport sector and upgrades of 29 airports in the country to cater to a total of 330 million travellers by 2030.

Along with bringing the newest technology and innovative products from over 50 countries to Riyadh, the two-day expo hosted a summit of regional officials and global experts at Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh, to debate ways the Arabian Peninsula’s most populous country could fast climb up the success ladder, said the organiser Niche Ideas, a UK-based event management company.

The Future Airport Development and Investment Summit drew more than 500 industry experts who  discussed the role of the aviation industry in supporting Saudi Vision 2030; aviation sustainability; and rebuilding the aviation industry post-pandemic.

 Experts also focused on future airport planning; passenger-centric thinking for the airports of tomorrow; digital innovation; Airport Security in the Age of Digital Disruption among other topics.

A panel discussion on the role of the private sector in boosting aviation growth in the kingdom was moderated by Kashif Khalid, IATA’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa.

 The panellists included Mohammed Al Binfalah, CEO of Bahrain Airport Company and TG Mason, Development and Operations Director of Aviation KSA at Egis.

 Making an opening remark, Binfalah said the Arabian Gulf region should look at the PPP model for future aviation growth initiatives.

 During the discussion, the panellists debated various expansion and development models in other parts of the world that can be introduced.  They also shared case studies on public-private sector collaboration to argue the best models for the sustainable growth of aviation in the Arab world.

The success of the event has prompted the organisers to go for a bigger-size show in November 2023 through larger exhibition space.