Plane landing on the runway; Plane landing on the runway;

Saudi Aviation IT, Saudi Arabia

How does a state-owned authority transform into a private aviation IT provider?

In 2016 Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman launched a national transformation programme for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The vision was to support job creation and collaboration between public and private sectors.

The programme set out a number of strategic objectives including the privatisation of state-owned providers. Arup played a central role in transitioning a government agency to a private, aviation IT service provider. The newly established provider, Saudi Aviation IT (SAVIT) was required to seek contracts from airports previously accustomed to receiving government-funded services at no cost.

As a trusted partner to SAVIT, Arup worked closely with the executive team to define the vision and organisational goals of the new entity, and mapped its transformation into an efficient enterprise capable of pioneering a competitive, private service offering.

Project Summary

178 strategic objectives

$70 billion estimated cost


Helping SAVIT to produce a strategic business model

Our work has enabled SAVIT to ensure passengers travel securely and conveniently, and deliver coordinated IT services to Saudi Arabia’s 27 airports, including four major international airports, which collectively serve 84+ million passengers each year. As a competitive, private provider SAVIT’s unique market position paves the way for a new era in Saudi aviation.

Our approach was underpinned by SAVIT’s strategic five-year operating model which contained three main objectives. These were to enhance the delivery of services, improve customer experiences and drive international competitiveness.

The Arup team have become valued partners in the development of SAVIT and delivered more than just a five-year plan and financial model. Arup’s work has helped shape the vision underpinning Saudi Aviation IT to be customer-centric and focus on improving the passenger experience. ” Mohammed Alshaalan CEO, SAVIT

A roadmap for Saudi Arabia’s aviation IT

The 18-month transition began with investment in IT infrastructure. Optimisation of the network connecting all airports was integral to maintaining day-to-day operations. Embedding technology made operations more efficient and enabled the new organisation to quickly establish a market presence and build a secure client base.

The next phase focused on creating and delivering new services to improve the customer experience. The new services, based on data sharing between airports and airlines, have created benefits for both the industry and customers. Improvements such as tailored passenger offerings and journey planning apps have helped to ensure smooth journeys for passengers. 

The Arup-designed SAVIT Integration Platform helped the team inform decision making when developing new service offerings. With a user-friendly front end, the tool integrated relevant financial and operational airport data to accurately forecast outcomes and explore options using data visualisation.

In the third and final phase, Arup mapped SAVIT’s operations through to 2022, leaving the executive team with a plan for driving investment in internationally competitive capabilities and building their strategic network of partners.