Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Meteorology (NCM), Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli has signed an agreement to buy five aircraft for the Regional Cloud Seeding Program.
According to the statement, four aircraft are dedicated to cloud seeding, and the specially-equipped fifth plane is allocated for weather and climate research and studies. These aircraft are the newest of their kind and equipped with all the necessary technologies.
Mr. Al-Fadhli stressed that the project for purchasing cloud-seeding aircraft aims to build domestic capacity, transfer localized knowledge, ensure business sustainability, raise the level of coverage and efficiency of cloud seeding, as well as reduce the accompanying costs of operating aircraft by providing private aircraft equipped with cloud seeding capabilities and techniques.
The ministry’s Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs, Dr. Osama Faqiha, confirmed that the Kingdom is the second country in the world to own this type of research aircraft, noting that the industrial cloud seeding program intends to enhance water resources, develop vegetation, and benefit from renewable water sources.
For his part, the CEO of NCM, Dr. Ayman Ghulam, noted that “the program has completed its third phase and is preparing to launch the fourth, pointing out that the program’s operational results exceeded a success rate of 97 percent.”
“The operations for the first phase of the cloud seeding program were launched on April 27, 2022, to increase precipitation levels, create new sources of water, increase green space and intensify vegetation to face desertification and mitigate drought through qualified national personnel with the highest skill levels,” as per the reports.