Saudi aviation regulator to sign a number of bilateral air services accords

ICAN 2016 provides an opportunity to conduct bilateral negotiations, or multilateral consultations

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The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is participating in the four-day Ninth International Conference for Air Services negotiation (ICAN 2016) held under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the city of Nassau in the Bahamas. It opened on Monday and will end on Dec. 9.

Captain Abdulhakeem Albadur, Assistant to the President for Security, Safety and Air Transport, said GACA’s participation in the forum comes from its effective position in the international air transport map and its effective role in the development of air transport, as well as its nurturing role in the development of the industry to achieve the highest safety and security and ways to keep up with the rapid development in the industry.

Albadur revealed that during the conference, GACA will be signing a number of bilateral air agreements with a number of friendly countries after approval was given by the ministerial cabinet.

“These agreements will help keep pace with the acceleration in the growth of the air transport industry and to provide operational opportunities and destination points for our national carriers. Also during the conference, negotiations will nearly be held with a number of countries to which the Kingdom associated with in earlier agreements and to update the existing operational framework. This in addition to negotiating with various countries to set up new bilateral agreements,” he said.

Support for ICAO

He noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an effective functioning state in support of ICAO, which has 191 member’s states, and this, through its membership of the ICAO Council that it chairs and is a member of several executive committees. The Kingdom has full participation in a number of commissions in the work of the organization and its committees relating to aspects of air transport and safety of security of air navigation, and financial support contributing to the development of the organization.

This was demonstrated recently by the generous donation of the Kingdom to the initiative “No country left behind” to the tune of $1 million.

He further said the conference is an opportunity for member states to conduct talks and consultations in one location to save on cost and time.

The conference provides an opportunity to conduct bilateral negotiations, or multilateral consultations discussions of topics related to air services.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has signed a number of bilateral agreements in the past. It signed in Bombay in 2011 nine memorandums of understanding.

In 2012, the Kingdom played host to this global forum, where the Kingdom occupies an esteemed international stature and a constant advancement in this industry.

GACA has targeted 68 countries during this conference where it held face-to-face meetings with all the participating countries.

In 2013, GACA participated in the city of Durban, South Africa and signed 13 draft bilateral air service agreements. In 2014, GACA signed 10 memorandums of understanding and signed on five bilateral agreements projects in Bali, Indonesia. While in the year 2015, five memorandum of understanding were updated and four new project’s bilateral agreements were signed in Antalya, Turkey.

This report was first published in Saudi Gazette on December 7, 2016