Presidency of Civil Aviation has made 10 proposals to increase air
traffic to and from King Fahd International Airport in the Eastern
Province. The proposals include the supply of jet fuel at cheaper rate
to all airlines operating at the airport and a revision of landing and
other service charges, Ali Al-Khalaf, head of the presidency, said
The presidency has
been working alongside an expert committee to chalk out plans and
proposals to increase air traffic to the airport, considered the
gateway to the Middle East. Addressing a news conference at the
airport, Al-Khalaf said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd
and Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the
National Guard, were keen to promote air traffic to KFIA.
second deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, has issued
directives to the authorities concerned to give priority to boost air
traffic to King Fahd International Airport in Dammam,” he told
Prince Sultan set
up the expert committee to take effective measures for promoting air
traffic to and from the airport.
to PCA’s efforts to expedite the committee’s activities by
undertaking the necessary studies and research with the help of
experts. He said the PCA and the committee were working out on
proposals to enhance air traffic to the airport and remove the
obstacles that stand in the way of its development.
Other PCA proposals
were the revision of rents for investment facilities at the airport,
the slashing of ground handling and catering charges and the
implementation of an open-air policy exclusively for KFIA, allowing
all international airlines to operate flights to the airport.
proposals, international airlines will be allowed to link two points
in one flight, Dammam being one of the two. The national flag carrier
will be consulted to allow foreign airlines to land at KFIA and
transport passengers to a destination outside Dammam.
airliner will also be advised to cut international airfares reasonably
to make them competitive with those offered by other airlines. This
will encourage passengers to fly Saudia from KFIA,” Al-Khalaf said.
The proposals said
the Saudi Arabian Airlines will continue the practice of not charging
commission from other airlines for operating at KFIA.
The PCA also
proposed to encourage air cargo movement at the airport and landing of
planes for refueling and catering by introducing competitive charges.
procedures at the airport will be revised to facilitate movement of
passengers,” he said. Entry visas for transit passengers will also
be considered to promote trade and tourism, he added. The airport will
also be provided with transport, reception and other vital services.
media reports that many airlines as well as passengers were shifting
to the neighboring Bahrain airport due to high landing and other
service charges at the KFIA. “No airline has shifted its operation
from KFIA due to charges,” he asserted. Some newspapers recently
reported that PCA was likely
to reduce airport charges by up to 30 percent.
Al-Khalaf said the
PCA was launching a drive to attract more international airlines to
KFIA. And the new jet fuel proposal was a step in that direction.
Cheaper jet fuel is expected to attract international airlines,
especially those operating from developing Asian countries, to the
Al-Khalaf said that
the PCA wanted to open the skies for all major international airlines
and it was working on a plan to attract them to the airport. He said
2.7 million passengers traveled through KFIA in a year. Out of these,
60 percent were domestic passengers.
The airport has the
capacity of handling 11 million passengers a year. Ironically, the
neighboring Bahrain airport serves 3.5 million passengers a year, all
of them bound for international destinations.
from Dammam have complained that Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Kuwait
Airways and Emirates carry passengers by road to Manama Airport via
King Fahd Causeway. They say that this undermines their business and
deprives the Kingdom of millions of riyals in every year in airport
tax. These airlines have been demanding reduction in airport charges
and a check on airlines carrying passengers to Bahrain.