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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - ADEN: A major Saudi-backed redevelopment program for Aden International Airport was given official clearance for takeoff.
The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) is supporting the ambitious upgrade project under the patronage of Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed.
A special inauguration ceremony to mark the start of work was attended by SDRPY’s director general of projects and studies, Hasan Al-Attas, Saudi delegates linked to the program, and Yemeni officials.
Capt. Saleh bin Nahid, president of the Yemeni General Authority for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, said: “Laying the first building blocks of development and strategic projects for Aden International Airport will contribute significantly to raising the airport’s standards and the quality of services available to travelers and airlines.”
During his speech at the ceremony to inaugurate the first stage of the project, Al-Attas said: “The project to improve and rehabilitate Aden’s airport is one of SDRPY’s most important. This project is one of the goals to revitalize all Yemeni institutions, and most importantly Aden’s airport.”
SDRPY general supervisor and Saudi Ambassador Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber said the program was part of a strategic Saudi initiative to help the Yemeni government provide basic services for its people and to support the country’s infrastructure, security, stability, peacebuilding, and job-creation initiatives.
He noted that Aden airport was one of the main Yemeni gateways which had experienced a “difficult” period while under the control of Houthi militia, and added that a team of experts had visited the airport two months ago to identify the program needs in coordination with the Yemeni government and relevant authorities.
By the end of 2020, the airport will be one of the main international transport hubs on the Arabian Peninsula meeting all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, and with work underway would be able to handle more passengers within 90 days, said Al-Jaber.
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