RIYADH — Air traffic movement in Saudi Arabia recorded an unprecedented level in terms of passengers during the year 2023.

A record number of 112 million passengers traveled through various airports in the Kingdom during the last year with a growth rate of 26 percent compared to the year 2022, and more than 8 percent compared to the year 2019.

This confirmed that the air traffic sector in the Kingdom has recovered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Air Traffic Report 2023 released on Wednesday by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

The number of flights that passed through Saudi airports during the year 2023 reached about 815000, and this shows an increase of 16 percent compared to 2022, the report pointed out. The Kingdom witnessed record growth in terms of the number of passengers and international flights during the last year, reaching about 61 million passengers, and the number of flights reached more than 394000.

King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah topped the list of major Saudi airports in terms of the number of flights, with an average 30 flights per hour. King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh came in second place with a rate of 27 flights per hour, and King Fahd International Airport, Dammam came third, with11 flights per hour.

As far as domestic flights are concerned, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of passengers and flights during the year 2023. The number of passengers reached about 51 million passengers on board more than 421000 domestic flights that operated between various airports across the Kingdom. The volume of air freight at Saudi airports during the year 2023 witnessed a growth of more than 7 percent, with a total of about 918000 tons, compared to 854000 tons in 2022.

It is noteworthy that the GACA is the regulating body for the civil aviation sector in the Kingdom. It oversees the air traffic control of Saudi Arabia. The GACA is responsible for regulation of air transport services and the implementation of civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards. It also co-ordinates all regulatory functions with the International Civil Aviation Organization.

It is tasked to frame the executive regulations for the civil aviation sector, supervising them and following up on their implementation with the relevant authorities, in a way that contributes to improving the quality of air transport services and the traveler’s experience.

The authority works in accordance with its strategy to shape the future of the sector to create a competitive and attractive investment environment, to be a pioneer in the Middle East and the world, and contribute to achieving its goals of doubling the capacity by 2030.

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