Saudi Arabia approves GACA as independent body

GACA will have power to award licences as kingdom seeks to privatise sector and will be handled with new powers as an 'independent body'.

Saudi Arabia approves GACA as independent body

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia ministry plans to approve the proposal to establish the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) as an independent legislative body with the power to directly grant licences to new airlines and otherwise incentivize air travel.

This resolution to separate GACA from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and Aviation and link it directly to the Council of Ministers were first issued in 2011, followed by the issuance of a comprehensive strategy to boost the kingdom’s aviation sector in 2012. In spite of this further authoritative decision on the GACA’s future had not been taken until now.

The Council of Ministers on Monday approved an updated resolution to separate out GACA both from the ministry and from the board of directors of national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), and hand it new powers as an independent body,according to the report of Saudi Gazette

Transport minister Suliman Alhamdan was quoted in a report as saying that the move would serve the air transport sector in Saudi Arabia and help GACA achieve an objective standing between all the carriers. The decision would help the kingdom achieve a global leadership position in the aviation sector, he added.

Several laws and regulations were adopted to strengthen its supervisory legislative role in the past months, Saudi Gazette reported, without disclosing further details. Alhamdan is reported to have said by Saudi Gazette: “This will no doubt help in reaching the aspirations of our wise leadership and to reach a level of satisfactions to the people of this country of the service rendered to them in the air transport sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia has commenced a strategy to privatise all 27 airports in Saudi Arabia and open up the market to new airlines. Saudi Gazette reported that this week that a new domestic carrier, SaudiGulf, would commence operations on June 22.