The Saudi Minister of Transport, Saleh al-Jasser, who also chairs the General Civil Aviation Authority, yesterday inaugurated the first Asia-Pacific and Middle East office of the International Airports Council (Airports Council International, Aci), the leading professional organization, based in Montreal, Canada, bringing together the world's airport authorities. The Saudi newspaper "Arab News" reported this.
During the inauguration ceremony, Al Jasser said that the opening of the office will help expand opportunities in the aviation market and enhance the interests of member airports in the global council. Furthermore, according to the minister, the opening of the new office reflects Saudi Arabia's pre-eminent role in international organizations and its weight in the aviation and air transport sector. ACI's Asia-Pacific and Middle East departments were established in 1991 to meet the needs of Asian airports. The ACI, in fact, aims to unify industry practices for airport standards through collaboration with governments, regional members, experts and international groups. In 2006, the Asia office was merged with the Pacific office and renamed ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East. It currently has 131 members representing 49 countries and oversees 617 airports in Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.