Red Sea International to be Middle East's First Carbon-Neutral Airport
The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), The Red Sea and AMAALA, has confirmed daa International as the operator at Red Sea International (RSI), which is on track to become the region’s first-ever carbon-neutral airport.
The latest agreement covers operations and general maintenance services worth close to $270 million and is set to propel the airport on its journey towards environmental sustainability powered by 100% renewable energy.
John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC said: “Ahead of welcoming our first guests early next year, Red Sea International is ushering in a carbon-neutral, net-zero era for airport designs and operations.
"As the region’s first-ever airport powered by 100 percent renewable energy, RSI will serve as an innovative blueprint for decarbonized urban destinations of the future.”
TRSDC welcomed a delegation of Irish dignitaries to its offices in Riyadh to celebrate the signing of the agreement.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport in Ireland, Ms Hildegarde Naughton TD, and Ireland’s Ambassador to the Kingdom, Gerry Cunningham were both present, alongside Enterprise Ireland, the country’s trade organization.
Additionally, the event was attended by His Excellency the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Mr. Abdul-Azeer bin Abdullah Al-Duailej.
“Our agreement with leading industry player daa International, with a proven track-record of excelling in international aviation, marks our latest step towards materializing a sustainable, regenerative gateway that will open this under-explored region of Saudi Arabia to the world,” added Pagano.
daa International will serve as the airport operator for RSI in 2023, overseeing design consultancy, management, and operations in accordance with the provisions of General Authority of Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (GACA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Services will also enable the seamless integration of green technology and waste and resource management, aligned with the highest standards of sustainability, while prioritizing safety and security.
The partnership will harness daa International’s extensive credentials in airport operations.
Together with TRSDC, collective efforts will integrate innovative solutions across all RSI operations to eliminate and offset carbon emissions, optimize energy consumption, and advance efficiencies in resource and waste management.
SI is a uniquely regenerative airport, designed by international architecture firm Foster + Partners to provide an unforgettable aviation experience.
The project is on-track to welcome its first passengers in 2023, with capabilities to serve an estimated one million domestic and international tourists per year by 2030 – at a peak of 900 travelers per hour.
The airport was successfully registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and recently completed test landings and take-offs on the 3.7km main runway. The team also celebrated eight million safe man-hours with 2,400 workers.
RSI will be the first and only airport in the region with a dedicated runway for seaplanes and water aerodromes, regulated by a new set of GACA safety guidelines.
The destination will also service hydrogen-powered seaplane variants, supplied by hydrogen-electric aviation firm ZeroAvia, as well as electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft technology.