RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Under the the patronage of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is hosting the third edition of the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, attended by over 5,000 aviation experts and leaders from more than 100 countries.

H.E Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah delivering his speech at the Future Aviation Forum, Riyadh

On the second day of the forum, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) called on the international community to establish a ‘Global Aid Aviation Council.’ Bringing together the aviation community, humanitarian agencies and governments, the new body would facilitate and protect humanitarian aid delivered across air routes. As part of the proposal, H.E. Dr Al Rabeeah stated that all programs must be protected under international humanitarian law.

The Global Aid Aviation Council would facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in three ways: by ensuring uninhibited access to airports, flightpaths, and refuelling facilities for aircraft delivering aid; by removing all duties and tariffs on aircraft transporting aid; and by streamlining the coordination of aid delivery. The removal of duties would reduce costs, helping to bridge the humanitarian funding gap.

H.E. Dr Al Rabeeah emphasized the vital role of civil aviation in delivering humanitarian aid during both man-made conflicts and natural disasters:

Civil aviation is crucial for the swift transportation of humanitarian personnel and the delivery of emergency supplies such as food, water, medical supplies, and shelter materials. An international community-backed Global Aid Aviation Council would facilitate the delivery of such aid, saving lives and helping those in need.”

KSrelief has leveraged aviation to deliver critical health supplies and aid in crisis zones. Its airbridge programs have supported Gaza with 50 flights from Riyadh to Al Arish in Egypt, to Sudan with over 20 flights, and provided vital assistance to the victims of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Additionally, an ambitious airbridge program for Ukraine has sent over 21 airplanes carrying essential aid to border cities in Poland.

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