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NATS teams up with Saudi Air Navigation Services on airport capacity study

22 November 2023
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Fareham-headquartered NATS - the UK’s provider of air navigation - is teaming up with Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) on an airport capacity study as the Kingdom aims to triple annual passenger traffic by 330 million over the next decade.

The collaboration agreement concerning King Khalid international airport in Riyadh 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.

READ MORE: Hampshire's air navigation provider NATS strikes seven-year deal with BT

Guy Adams, managing director of NATS Services, said: "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."

Ahmed Alzahrani, the CSO of SANS, added: "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."

Saudi is making major investments in its aviation infrastructure in support of its Vision 2030 strategy.

Over the next decade, it wants to triple annual passenger traffic by 330 million, including two global long haul connecting hubs and increase 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.

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.

NATS manages all UK airspace from two air traffic control centres at Swanwick in Hampshire, and Prestwick in Ayrshire. It also provides air traffic services at 14 airports in the UK and at Gibraltar airport and Hong Kong International airport.

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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