During the past six years, a team of resident members from CAI, each specialising in key aspects of airport management, were stationed in Dammam to work hand in hand with their Saudi general managers to improve the management of the airport.
Following a successful six-year contract to manage and operate King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has extended the contract with Changi Airports International (CAI) for the maximum permissible period of seven months from 7 November 2014. The extension of the contract will see CAI continuing to apply its expertise and experience and work alongside GACA to realise the full potential of KFIA and strengthen its positioning as a premier regional airport in the Kingdom.
During the past six years, a team of resident members from CAI, each specialising in key aspects of airport management, were stationed in Dammam to work hand in hand with their Saudi general managers to improve the management of the airport. The efforts of the resident team were supported by domain experts from Singapore in numerous visits to support development in various areas including human capital, airport commercial and retail management, operations efficiency and service quality management, as well as hub and route development.
The cooperation saw KFIA achieve unprecedented growth in the number of operating airlines, passenger traffic and city links. KFIA is now served by 36 airlines to 65 cities. In 2013, passenger volumes exceeded that of other airports within the catchment area for the first time in KFIA’s history. The space within the terminal available for concession has increased by more than 80 percent and non-aeronautical revenue has more than doubled in the last few years.
Other enhancements in the airport include the implementation of an instant feedback system, several infrastructure development initiatives to increase the airport capacity and the addition of many more commercial and retail offerings to revitalise the airport and improve customer experience. These initiatives will prepare KFIA to handle passenger movements exceeding 21 million passengers per annum once major infrastructure plans are implemented.
During this period, the KFIA and CAI team introduced a new aviation fuel farm structure and management that will benchmark the facility to the Joint Inspection Group (JIG) standards. KFIA is on track to be the first airport in the Kingdom to comply with JIG standards, which are widely recognised in the industry.
CAI has tailor-made an intensive knowledge transfer programme by customising staff training for senior management, middle managers, young professionals and general staff. The programme had chalked up over 8,000 training days and has helped developed a skilled airport management team. High potential employees were identified and nurtured through a specially-developed six-month Airport Professional Development Programme in Singapore. The programme aims to develop key management skills in the trainees to help drive KFIA’s strategic initiatives over the next five years.
Engineer Yousef Al-Dhahri, Director General of KFIA, said: “KFIA appreciates the contribution from our CAI colleagues and is glad to extend the management services agreement till June 2015. The close working relationship at the management level has led to many new ideas and initiatives that has been positive to KFIA. Together, we are confident that KFIA will meet its strategic development goals. GACA has supported the joint efforts and the travelling public can look forward to additional offerings in the coming year.”
Mr Lim Liang Song, Chief Executive Officer of CAI, said: “We would like to thank Dr Faisal Al-Sugair, Vice-President for GACA. Dr Faisal has shown immense support to CAI and all the achievements today would not have been possible without this close-knit partnership. We are proud of the achievements attained by KFIA through the sharing of CAI’s expertise. The close working relationship with GACA has enabled KFIA to achieve even more than the targets in its business plan. We are confident that KFIA, under the able leadership of DG Yousef Al-Dhahri and his senior team, will achieve its strategic goals and establish the pre-eminence of the airport in the region and contribute to Saudi Arabia’s aviation industry.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.