Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
“The standard of FBO facilities [at Riyadh] is way below the minimum standards we expect,” added Sulaiman Al Hamdan, CEO of NAS Holding, which owns several charter firms in the region. “When we look at neighboring countries, the facilities there are by far much better. When it comes to Saudi Arabia, in the beginning the market here represented the biggest in the region. But the FBO facilities don’t represent either a good image or good service.”
The sense is not so much that Riyadh’s current FBO players–Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), Arabasco, Jet Aviation and a joint venture of the local NasJet and ExecuJet–are responsible for the situation. Instead, a general malaise is seen to be affecting the running of airports in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, new standalone FBO facilities in Jeddah, the “home” of Saudi aviation, recently won praise for being built and furnished to a much higher standard, as well as for affording more privacy than at the shared terminal in Riyadh.