Saudi Arabia to build new airport in Riyadh

King Salman International Airport set to welcome 120 million passengers by 2030

The airport is expected to add 27 billion riyals to Saudi Arabia's non-oil GDP. Reuters
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced that a new airport will be opened in the capital Riyadh.

Plans for the King Salman International Airport were announced on Monday afternoon.

The new airport will be set to welcome 120 million passengers by 2030 and to boost Riyadh’s position as a global logistics, tourist and transport hub, according to a statement from the Saudi Press Agency.

It will be one of the largest airports in the world and have six parallel runways, it said, with plans to process 3.5 million tonnes of cargo by 2050.

It will place sustainability “at its core” and will be powered by renewable energy, the statement added.

The airport will add 27 billion Saudi Riyals to the non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, it said, without specifying when that target will be met.

It is part of a larger project to transform Riyadh into one of the world's top 10 city economies, the statement said, and turn the capital into a “global gateway.” The airport is also planned to support Riyadh's population growth to approximately 15 to 20 million people in the next eight years.

The city's current airport, King Khalid International Airport, was opened with four terminals in November 1983, with a fifth added in 2016. Before that the military airbase served commercial flights to the kingdom.

Terminal 5 is the largest at 106,500 square metres and it can accommodate 16 narrow-body or 8 wide-body aircraft. It is operated by Irish airport operator Dublin Airport Authority, and is Saudi's first privately-run airport terminal. It is capable of welcoming 12 million passengers per year.

KKIA is located 35km north of Riyadh and currently hosts flights of 52 commercial airlines and eight freight carriers.

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Updated: November 28, 2022, 3:58 PM