Spurred on by strong demand for services, the government is planning to bolster and upgrade infrastructure capacity across all segments of the transport industry. Indeed, with a rising population and increasing trade volumes, the sector is poised for growth. The transport, storage and communications sector accounted for 7.7% of GDP in 2011 and is growing at a rate of 10.63% per year. Planned road and rail expansions are designed to facilitate the movement of goods and develop the Kingdom as a logistics centre for the region, while several new ports are being developed and expansion plans are under way at a number of existing facilities. This should help accommodate rising levels of traffic – container volume was up around 7.5% in 2011. Such projects illustrate the importance the government is placing on the transportation sector to expedite economic growth and diversification.
This chapter includes an interview with Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad, President, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saudia.