Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) has reportedly announced plans to privatise the country’s airports and related services.
Reuters reported that the privatising is expected to start in the first half of 2016.
GACA chairman Sulaiman Al Hamdan was quoted as saying: "The privatisation programme is in line with the kingdom’s plan to boost productivity and efficiency at its airport systems, as well as to ease the government’s financial burdens."
King Khalid International Airport in the capital city of Riyadh is said to be the first airport to be privatised in the first three months of 2016 under the name of Riyadh Airports Company.
The air navigation sector will be privatised as Air Navigation Services Company and the information technology sector will become Saudi Company for Aviation Information Systems. This will occur in the second and third quarters of the year respectively.
The privatised units of the national airline, Saudi Airlines Catering Co and Saudi Ground Services Co, have already been listed on the stock market.
The cargo unit of the national airline will be the next to be privatised.
More units of the country’s domestic and international airports will be privatised in the next five years until 2020.
GACA 2014 statistics show that there are 27 airports in the kingdom of which four are international located in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medinaare.
Image: King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia. Photo: courtesy of Muhaidib.