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Plan to transform Saudi domestic airports to international ones

Passenger numbers on international flights saw a 28.8 per cent increase, while those on domestic flights grew 7.8 per cent

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia reveals plans to transform domestic airports into international airports.

The plan is scheduled to be implemented once a strategic plan to operate international flights in those airports is complete. This will be done to maximise economic value.

According to recent statistics by the Authority, domestic airports have registered growth in flight rates and passenger numbers. Until the end of June 2015, total passenger numbers reached 6.6 million, with an 11.8 per cent increase compared with 5.9m travellers during the same period of 2014, London-based Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper reports.

Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of GACA, says that the authority continues licensing companies that want to work in the Saudi aviation market, providing them with all required facilities, and will work with them to overcome any difficulties they may face.

He adds that the authority seeks to achieve a quantum leap in the level of services provided in all domestic and international airports and transfer them into high economic value airports with the best services provided.

He notes that passenger numbers on international flights reached 1.3m, with a 28.8 per cent increase compared with the number of passengers in 2014, when it was one million. At the same time, the number of passengers travelling on domestic flights reached 5m passengers with a 7.8 per cent increase from 2014.