Saudi Arabia hosts biggest-ever airport show on November 7 as the world flies down for deals from US$147 billion spending

Saudi Airport Exhibition (SAE) in Riyadh on November 7 and 8 to lead to new business partnerships

150 exhibitors from 25 countries will showcase their products

Participants are coming from the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and UAE

Hosted buyers include Red Sea Global, Neom, Al Ula and Tibah airports

Top-notch speakers at Future Airport Development and Investment Summit

Exclusive AI-enabled matchmaking programme for attendees

High-potential growth destination to get eight new airports

Airports to be equipped to efficiently handle 330 million passengers and 4.5 million tonnes of cargo

A record 150 exhibitors from over 25 countries and more than two dozen top-notch stalwarts are in Riyadh to attend the biggest-ever airport industry show for two days from November 7 at Al Faisaliah Hotel as Saudi Arabia works the fast way to expand its aviation infrastructure with a US$147 billion spending budget until 2040.

The transformative socio-economic reforms blueprint calls for equipping the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula to handle 330 million air travellers by 2030, and transforming Riyad and Jeddah into mega aviation hubs, along with setting up a new national carrier and developing eight new airports. The Middle East’s largest aviation market with 29 airports under its fold, is set to have the fastest passenger traffic growth until 2040 for which it unveiled US$147 billion plans for its expansion. The National Aviation Strategy aims to increase air connectivity to 250 destinations to reach the 330 million passengers mark and double air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tonnes.
In the works are plans to launch a new national airline as the aviation sector is slated to deliver SR280 billion (US$75 billion) to the oil-rich nation’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030 and the fastest economic growth of 7.6 per cent in the Arabian Gulf region this year.

Saudi Airport Exhibition (SAE) has received an unprecedented response with over 150 international companies from 25 countries from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia making it one of the most exciting aviation markets in the world.

Being held at the Al Faisaliah Hotel and Niche Ideas, the B2B platform will have a sharp focus on ‘expansion, innovation, and collaboration as one of the world’s Top 5 airport growth markets over the next two decades to help the Kingdom reach its goals. Saudi Airport Exhibition (SAE) will be held on an exhibition space of over 6,500 gross square metres whose features include co-located Future Airport Development and Investment Summit, VIP Matchmaking, Hosted Buyers Programme, and regional development airport projects.

Among the hosted buyers are top officials from Red Sea Global, Royal Commission of AlUla, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, Oman Airports, Neom, Tibah Airports, DAA International and Al Ula International Airport.

The only airport industry-dedicated event will focus on airport operations, infrastructure, air traffic control, ground handling, security, investments, technologies and innovations and logistics.

Among the companies participating are Matarat, a holding company that operates and handles investments of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Goldhofer, SITA, Siemens, CCM Airports, Fraport, ADB Safegate, Egis, TLD, Serco, Swissport, BECHTEL, IHSE, Nuctech, Saudi Ground Services, Saudi Air Navigation Services, Seder Group, PPMDC, Ground Handling Logistics, Nesma United Industries, AQESA, Trans Cities Trading, Hoshan Aviation & Defense and MAFA.

Co-located will be the Future Airport Development and Investment Summit with over 500 attendees – including Saudi transport and aviation leaders and global experts and suppliers.

The Summit will debate Aviation Sustainability; Rebuilding the Aviation Industry post-pandemic; Future Airport Planning; Passenger-Centric Thinking, Preparing the Airports of Tomorrow; Digital Innovation in Aviation; Developing Robust and Sustainable Air Traffic Management Systems; Airport Security in the Age of Digital Disruption, and Building a Local Aviation Talent Pool to Support Growth.

As the airport construction market reaches US$1.4 trillion globally by 2026, the co-located Future Airport Development and Investment Summit will explore new partnership opportunities as the aviation industry rebuilds after the 21st century’s second pandemic brought it off its growth tracks.

Among the speakers are senior management team members of IATA, SITA, Serco and Changi Airports. A sharp focus will be on Saudi Future Airspace Concept (SFAC). Speakers at the knowledge-sharing platform include heads of Modalis Infrastructure, Egis, IATA, Oliver Wyman and Siemens Logistics.

The others are Arab Company for Laboratories and Soil (ACES), Air Traffic Solutions, Vports, SITA, Blue Horizon, Serco and TRAMAK. Assaia International AG, AGL Advancement Group, eSolution, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and Airport Projects.

Several participants spoke about why SAE stands out and their expectations. Hani El Assaad, President of the Middle East, and Africa at SITA, says the aviation industry must harness new technologies to support rapid growth and avoid costly issues associated with the spike in passengers, including bottlenecks, negative passenger experiences, and operational inefficiency. At the SAE, we will demonstrate our passenger processing solutions like SITA Smart Path and explain how it enables the entire passenger journey to be completely mobile, biometric-enabled and untethered from fixed points in the airport, he added. SITA will also be talking about its Smart Solution trials at airports like Riyadh, Doha and Bahrain.

André Martins, Partner and Head of Transportation and Services at Oliver Wyman for India, the Middle East and Africa, will share his perspectives on the current challenges and opportunities in the aviation industry and how a strong collaboration across relevant stakeholders helps achieve the objectives. Jan Willem Kappes, Senior Vice President for Regional Sales for EMEA and APAC at Assaia International AG, says it will share its knowledge about how AI can be used by airports to improve operational efficiency, safety on the ground and passenger experiences.

Dr Ibrahim M. Asi, Manager, Regional Center of Excellence For Pavement Studies & Evaluation, Arab Company for Laboratories and Soil (ACES), will talk about airports and airbases pavement evaluations in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and will demonstrate its capabilities and expertise as the region undertakes ambitious expansion programmes.

Mike West, Consultant at AGL Advancement Group for Aeronautical Ground Lighting, Control and Monitoring Systems, will discuss digitalisation. Ivan Baruta, Principal Consultant, Aviation, Egis Group, says the AGCC region will witness improvement in delivering air traffic services and adopting more resilient and sustainable solutions, a paradigm shift in how ANSPs think about the services they deliver and future-proof innovations.

The Saudi Future Airspace Concept being planned to develop the airspace to ensure optimal handling of increased air traffic and keep pace with international developments will enable global consistency, capacity upgrading, and environmental efficiency improvements required for traffic growth in the Kingdom, says Radhi Alhamad, President of Blue Horizon ICT.

The King Abdulaziz International Airport is getting expanded. The Jeddah airport’s Phase2, slated to increase the capacity to accommodate 43 million passengers a year and 80 million passengers by 2035, is expected to be completed by December 2025. The kingdom has started working in massive ways to expand and upgrade airports to serve 330 million travellers by 2030 through US$147 billion investments that will support US$82.3 billion of GDP by 2037.