Riyadh: The first day of the Future Aviation Forum 2024, held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, organized by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Riyadh on May 20-22, witnessed the announcement of 47 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), agreements, and deals worth $19 billion.

These included aviation services, aircraft purchase orders, cargo and logistics services, advanced air navigation, human resources development, and information technology, in addition to agreements related to maintenance, repair, and renovation.

The third annual forum is being held with the participation of over 30 ministers, 77 leaders of civil aviation authorities, CEOs of airlines worldwide, 5,000 aviation industry experts, and leaders from more than 120 countries.

The forum discusses issues related to growth, investment, airports, air connectivity, supply-chain management, resilience, human capital, and sustainability.

Minister of Transport and Logistic Services and Chairman of GACA Board of Directors Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser stated during his opening speech at the forum that the Kingdom provides enormous opportunities for the private sector and is working to create thousands of jobs for its citizens.

The forum brings together aviation leaders and experts from around the world to collaborate and develop innovative solutions that drive the sector towards a more prosperous future, the minister said.

GACA President Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej stated that the first day of the forum witnessed great success, with numerous commercial deals, initiatives, and agreements aimed at enhancing global connectivity.

The agreements announced during the forum are a testament to the confidence in the growth and investment opportunities provided by the civil aviation sector in the Kingdom, reaffirming the Kingdom's leading position in the global aviation sector,” the GACA president said.

On the first day of the forum, the GACA signed multiple aviation services agreements with Mozambique, Eswatini, Cambodia, and Brunei Darussalam.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) entered a deal with Airbus to purchase 105 aircraft of the A320-Neo and A321-Neo models to expand and modernize its fleet, enhancing global air connectivity with various countries.

During the forum, the GACA also launched the first edition of the Kingdom's aviation sector report, which highlighted the civil aviation sector's contribution to the Kingdom's economy, amounting to $53 billion and providing 958,000 jobs across various regions.

The GACA also issued a roadmap for general aviation, aiming to develop the business aviation and private aircraft sector in the Kingdom, with the goal of increasing its size tenfold by 2030. This plan involves allocating six airports for general aviation and 9 lounges in commercial airports, with an expected contribution of 35,000 new jobs.