The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and CAA International (CAAi), part of the UK CAA, have signed a regulator-to-regulator partnership to assess and enhance Saudi Arabia’s aviation safety regulatory frameworks in line with global best-practice.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday by Captain Sulaiman Almuhaimedi, Executive Vice President of Safety & Aviation Standards of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, and Mr Ben Alcott, International Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The signing was witnessed by Mr Neil Crompton, His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and His Excellency the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Mr Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reforms are opening and diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy and society, including the recreation, travel and tourism sectors. The Saudi aviation regulator is leading the implementation of the Saudi Aviation Strategy, a sector-wide transformation programme with a target of tripling passenger numbers to 330 million per annum by 2030.
GACA has recently launched an Aviation Standards Optimization programme to apply world-leading aviation safety standards and enhance the passenger experience. CAAi and GACA intend to support this programme by examining global best-practice regulatory frameworks for aviation safety and making recommendations to enhance the State Safety Programme and National Aviation Safety Plan.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, His Excellency the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Mr Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, said “GACA is committed to delivering world-class regulations that improve passenger safety and the passenger experience. This project is an example of how we are transforming our regulations to enable growth in line with the Saudi Aviation Strategy and in support of Vision 2030.”
Captain Sulaiman Almuhaimedi, Executive Vice President of Safety & Aviation Standards at GACA, added “We look forward to partnering with the UK CAA on this important project and bringing the best of global aviation safety regulations to the Kingdom for the benefit of passengers and our aviation industry.”
This agreement builds on a memorandum of understanding signed in 2018 between the UK CAA and GACA on civil aviation technical cooperation and subsequent projects on Economic Regulation and Air Navigation Service Oversight.
Ben Alcott, International Director at the UK CAA, said “It is an honour to strengthen cooperation arrangements with GACA. The UK CAA looks forward to working with our regulatory counterparts at GACA and assisting Saudi Arabia to deliver its vision and goals for air transport.”
Maria Rueda, Managing Director at CAAi, commented "There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia has become a globally influential player in civil aviation, with new airlines, airports, and infrastructure well underway since the launch of Vision 2030 and the Saudi Aviation Strategy. As the country looks to 2030 and beyond, we stand committed to working with Saudi Arabia to enhance its legislative and regulatory framework to further support its air transport sector's long-term, sustainable growth."
Neil Crompton, His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, concluded “I was delighted to attend the signing ceremony between the Presidency of Civil Aviation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and CAAi. This forms part of the growing cooperation between the UK and Saudi Arabia in civil aviation and will help facilitate the movement of people between the two countries, strengthen trade ties, and support tourism in both directions.”