Singapore’s SATS to build, operate Dammam cargo terminal
SATS, Singapore Changi Airport’s biggest ground handler, has become the first international cargo handler to enter the Saudi market after winning a tender to build and operate a new cargo terminal in Dammam.
The concession agreement with the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) comes as Saudi Arabia looks to privatize airports and other government-run services to improve standards.
The kingdom is also planning to turn Dammam's King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) into a regional cargo hub, according to statements from officials.
“The introduction of a second cargo terminal operator will result in enhanced services, options and increased air cargo capacity for the marketplace,” Turki Al-Jawini, director general, King Fahd International Airport, was quoted as saying in a statement by SATS.
SATS will build a cargo terminal with a capacity to handle 150,000 tons of cargo a year. It will have a cold chain facility to handle shipping of high-value, temperature- sensitive pharmaceutical and food products.
It will reportedly invest about $40 million to build the new facility, according to Singapore-based The Straits Times.
"We look forward to working with our airline customers to connect KFIA into our growing network of cargo hubs across Asia and the Middle East," said Alex Hungate, president and chief executive officer at SATS.
Construction of the new terminal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.
SATS is present in over 45 airports and 12 countries in the Middle East and Asia.