King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) officially unveiled its “Cargo Village”. The launch event was presided by His Royal Highness, Prince Saud bin Naif, governor of the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Cargo Village is spread over half a million square metres. Over 70 per cent of goods bound for the Gulf region is destined for the Kingdom.
The Cargo Village positions KFIA as a multi-modal shipment and clearance destination, directly serving the Eastern Province and the Kingdom. The new facility offers direct access to Saudi Arabia and bypasses the need for cargo to transship through neighbouring countries.
For the planning and implementation of the Cargo Village, KFIA has worked in cooperation with Saudi Customs and Changi Airports International (CAI). Following a six-year agreement, the General Authority of Civil Aviation extended the contract with CAI in November 2014 to manage and operate KFIA for the maximum permissible period of seven months.
The director-general of KFIA, Yousef Al-Dhahri, expressed pride in the launch, “King Fahd International Airport is proud to present to Dammam, the Kingdom and the region this dynamic facility revolutionising the way cargo is handled in the region. KFIA’s Cargo Village offers ease of shipping and cargo services while serving as a regional hub for global companies. Most importantly the Cargo Village creates new economic and employment opportunities for the Eastern Province. With our continued partnership with Changi Airports International and their efforts, we are on track to becoming one of the region’s leading aviation hubs serving both passenger and cargo traffic. We anticipate that we will soon be starting the next phase as the demand for facilities is expected to grow strongly. ”
Lim Liang Song, chief executive officer of CAI, lauded the close working partnership among CAI, KFIA and Saudi Customs. Lim said: “We are proud to be a part of this partnership in bringing this innovative facility to Dammam. The Cargo Village will provide greater connectivity and cost efficiencies, and enhance KFIA’s position as a key regional cargo hub on the Eastern seaboard of the Kingdom.”
The two-year construction commenced in December 2012 and is now fully operational. The first of its kind for multimodal facilities in the Kingdom, the Cargo Village has attracted leading international and regional freight companies, such as DHL Express, NAQEL, SMSA Express, TNT and UPS to establish express cargo clearance facilities and offices at the King Fahd Cargo Village.