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Saudi AAM Initiative to provide safe and most developed means of air mobility in Mideast

The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in Saudi Arabia initiative, developed by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), is an ambitious roadmap to make the Saudi air transport sector the safest and most developed in the Middle East region.

This includes a wide range of innovative solutions ranging from small unmanned aircraft to aircraft with vertical take-off and landing. These technologies will be able to provide safe, sound, sustainable and faster means of transport for people and goods, characterized by high technical capabilities that contribute to alleviating congestion on the roads and facilitating easy access to remote areas in the country, and thus contributing to achieving overall economic and social development.

Capt. Sulaiman Al-Muhaymedi, executive vice president of GACA for aviation safety and environmental sustainability, said the AAM initiative in Saudi Arabia includes the steps that must be taken to draw a comprehensive road map that places AAM at the forefront of the aviation industry. The AAM is transforming the future of the transportation sector, offering innovative solutions, from small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

He stated that these developments contribute to revolutionizing the movement of passengers, transportation of goods, emergency response, medical evacuation, and disaster relief. He drew attention to environmental sustainability, in addition to the initiative’s inclusion of the foundations for building a successful system for advanced air transport.

Al-Muhaymedi indicated that tests were conducted in the Kingdom that included diverse terrain and multiple climatic conditions, which resulted in positive results that can be achieved in various transportation sectors thanks to reliance on advanced air transport, such as reducing traffic congestion and road accidents, as well as contributing to the Kingdom’s achievement of net zero carbon emissions by 2060.

The Kingdom has given priority to preserving the environment and people and ensuring sustainable development and making it one of its main goals, including the announcement of a number of ambitious initiatives by the Crown Prince. The most prominent of these are the Green Saudi Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative, which aim to draw a clear road map to mobilize regional efforts and contribute effectively to achieving global goals.

In 2022, GACA launched a draft plan to develop environmental sustainability in the field of civil aviation, including the “Enabling AAM in the Kingdom” initiative, which is one of the aviation sector’s initiatives aimed at formulating strategic directions and establishing relevant regulatory frameworks following international best practices to reduce the negative impacts on the environment resulting from civil aviation activities. This is also in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 in affirming the Kingdom’s position in the global aviation scene and its endeavor to be an international center for the future of transportation.

International cooperation constitutes a major aspect of the AAM journey in the Kingdom, as memorandums of understanding were signed with a number of countries, including South Korea, Singapore and China, in addition to concluding agreements with leading companies in designing and manufacturing AAM aircraft to ensure that the Kingdom achieves an advanced position in this field, especially in the safety and development sectors.