Riyadh: The third annual Future Aviation Forum (FAF 2024) concluded Wednesday in Riyadh, exceeding expectations with widespread participation and a multitude of significant deals.

The forum, organized by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), focused on the theme: “Elevating Global Connectivity,” bringing together 26 exhibitors. It took place May 20 to 22 under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The forum witnessed the signing of 102 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), agreements, and deals with a total value exceeding SAR75 billion, along with numerous investment empowerment offers in the Saudi aviation sector valued at $100 billion.

The forum, inaugurated by Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and GACA Chairman of the Board of Directors Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser, marked the beginning of a grand celebratory week and a remarkable event for the aviation sector.

More than 8,500 experts and leaders from the global aviation industry attended the event, along with 31 ministers and 77 leaders of civil aviation authorities from 130 countries.

Throughout its three days, the forum exceeded all expectations regarding the volume of deals conducted during the event.

The forum featured 73 different dialogue sessions with the participation of 300 speakers, including ministers, aviation authority officials from participating countries, leaders of aviation organizations, and Saudi and international companies.

The sessions focused on topics such as human capabilities, the future of the sector, cooperation mechanisms, civil aviation network, sustainability, innovation, technology, and business opportunities in the sector.

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

Moreover, GACA issued a roadmap for general aviation, aiming to develop the business aviation and private aircraft sector in the Kingdom and increase its size tenfold by 2030. This includes allocating 6 airports for general aviation and 9 lounges in commercial airports, with expectations of creating 35,000 new jobs.

GACA signed air transport services agreements with Kiribati, Grenada, Malawi, Romania, Belize, Eritrea, Sao Tome and Principe, Lithuania, El Salvador, Albania, Uzbekistan, Mozambique, Eswatini, Cambodia, and Brunei Darussalam.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) signed a deal with Airbus to purchase 105 aircraft of the A320-Neo and A321-Neo models, aiming to expand and modernize its fleet and enhance air connectivity with countries worldwide.