The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) was established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1354 AH (1934 AD) when an oil company, which later became part of Aramco, constructed a desert airstrip near the city of Jubail.
The Kingdom received its first civilian aircraft, DC-3 Dakota, in 1364 AH (1945 AD), to which two more aircraft of the same model were later added. The first regulation for civil aviation in the Kingdom was issued in 1372 AH (1953 AD). At the time of its disaffiliation from the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Civil Aviation Administration included the Saudi Arabian Airlines and the Department of Meteorology. Afterwards, the Saudi Arabian Airlines was separated from the Civil Aviation Administration in 1379 AH (1960 AD), and the latter evolved into an independent public organization in 1383 AH (1963 AD). In 1386 AH (1966 AD), the Department of Meteorology was separated from the Civil Aviation Administration and had its own independent budget. In 1397 AH (1977 AD), the name of the Civil Aviation Administration was changed to the Presidency of Civil Aviation, and in 1426 AH (2005 AD) the name was further modified to the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). In 1432 AH (2011 AD), the GACA was disaffiliated from the Ministry of Defence to become an independent body with its own budget.
Over those years, the Kingdom achieved record growth and made quantum leaps in the field of civil aviation, witnessing tremendous development and growth in passenger air transport, air cargo, airport construction, airport infrastructure, air navigation and air traffic control.