Shoura wants GACA debt repaid

A Shoura member makes his point during a debate in the house on Monday. (SPA)

A Shoura member makes his point during a debate in the house on Monday. (SPA)

Several Shoura Council members have demanded the repayment of SR17 billion in debt owed by the Saudi Arabian Airlines and the private sector to the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

Members have made 13 additional recommendations to a report recently released by the authority.

Khalid Al-Aqeil, a member, called on the authority to deal with the growing volume of unpaid annual returns.

Saudia owes an estimated SR13 billion and the private sector almost SR3 billion, while government debt exceeded SR1 billion.

Al-Aqeil said that the authority should work according to specific commercial standards to increase its returns.

Uncollected returns from Saudia, in particular, have added a new dimension to the financial statements presented to the council.

Several other urgent proposals were put forth during the meeting.

The committee responsible for transport, communication and information technology also recommended speeding up the issuance of licenses to companies to begin operating additional regional and local flights.

Companies were also asked to speed up awarding contracts for new airport buildings to the private sector for construction, management and operation to keep pace with the growing passenger demand.

The committee also stressed the need to unify all airports under one administrative unit and nationalize jobs at airports throughout the Kingdom.

Mansour Al-Kraidis also called on GACA to speed up the implementation of a resolution passed by the Council of Ministers stipulating that the price of fuel at Saudi airports should be reviewed and compared with regional prices.

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