The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and CAA International (CAAi), part of the UK CAA, have signed a regulator-to-regulator partnership to assess and enhance Saudi Arabia’s aviation safety regulatory frameworks in line with global best-practice.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reforms are opening and diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy and society, including the recreation, travel and tourism sectors. The Saudi aviation regulator is leading the implementation of the Saudi Aviation Strategy, a sector-wide transformation programme with a target of tripling passenger numbers to 330 million per annum by 2030.

GACA has recently launched an Aviation Standards Optimization programme to apply aviation safety standards and enhance the passenger experience. CAAi and GACA intend to support this programme by examining global best-practice regulatory frameworks for aviation safety and making recommendations to enhance the State Safety Programme and National Aviation Safety Plan.

This agreement builds on a memorandum of understanding signed in 2018 between the UK CAA and GACA on civil aviation technical cooperation and subsequent projects on Economic Regulation and Air Navigation Service Oversight.

"There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia has become a globally influential player in civil aviation, with new airlines, airports, and infrastructure well underway since the launch of Vision 2030 and the Saudi Aviation Strategy,” said Maria Rueda, Managing Director at CAAi. “As the country looks to 2030 and beyond, we stand committed to working with Saudi Arabia to enhance its legislative and regulatory framework to further support its air transport sector's long-term, sustainable growth."

The agreement was signed by Captain Sulaiman Almuhaimedi, Executive Vice President of Safety & Aviation Standards of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, and Ben Alcott, International Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The signing was witnessed by Neil Crompton, His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and His Excellency the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej.