NATS signs airport capacity contract with Saudi Air Navigation Services

21 November 2023

Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) and NATS signed an agreement to collaborate on a capacity enhancement study at King Khalid International Airport, as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious growth and development plans.

The agreement was signed at the Dubai Air Show by Abdulaziz Alzaid, the CEO of SANS, and Martin Rolfe, the CEO of NATS, alongside a broader strategic partnership.

The signings serve as an indication of the organisations’ mutual intention to collaborate on projects regarding Air Traffic Management (ATM), with the aim of ensuring the secure expansion of air traffic throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is making major investments in its aviation infrastructure to help drive the Kingdom’s collective growth ambitions in support of its Vision 2030 strategy. Over the next decade, Saudi Arabia aspire to triple annual passenger traffic by 330 million, including two global long haul connecting hubs and increasing air cargo volume to 4.5 million tonnes.

Following NATS’ ACE (Airport Capacity Enhancement) programme, the project will provide a benchmarked, data driven assessment that will deliver valuable insights into current operations with recommendations on how airport capacity can safely expand.

SANS is responsible for providing air navigation services in Saudi Arabia, where it plays a pivotal role in delivering safe Air Traffic Management (ATM) within Saudi Arabia’s airspace and across the country’s growing network of airports. Working together, SANS and NATS will deliver a comprehensive airport capacity study at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

Ahmed Alzahrani, the CSO of SANS, stated: “SANS is committed to transform the aviation landscape and guarantee that we are at the forefront of driving innovation to shape the aviation services of tomorrow. This collaboration will leverage NATS expertise and digital solutions, to unlock new possibilities in airspace management and seamless flow of air traffic in the Kingdom.”

Guy Adams, Managing Director of NATS Services, stated: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans for the future of its aviation industry. By collaborating with SANS, we can help deliver the safe and efficient capacity growth that the Kingdom is seeking. We are delighted to be working together to deliver a project in Riyadh, and I am confident that our operational experience at some of the world’s busiest airports will prove invaluable.”

The contract signing follows several meetings held at the World ATM Congress in Madrid, Airspace World in Geneva, and reciprocal visits between the two organisations to discuss shared priorities.

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