Airport News

Airport News

Saudi Arabia plans to expand its capital's airport three-fold in size within the next five years, a senior civil aviation official said on Monday, as passenger traffic rises rapidly.

Riyadh airport is one of 27 in the kingdom where traffic has reached 30 million passengers annually and is expected to double to 60 million over the next 10 years.

The Saudi government is planning multi-billion dollar projects to expand its airports to meet this growth.

"Terminals will be rebuilt and expanded to… three times its current size," Ali al-Zahrani, director general for corporate planning at the General Authority for Civil Aviation, said about the Riyadh airport expansion.

"We developed a comprehensive master plan with a conceptual design for the four terminals that will raise the capacity at Riyadh airport from 12 million to 24 million," Zahrani said.

Zahrani said he could not give an estimate for the project costs but said that it would either be government financed or that it would issue sukuk, or Islamic bonds, to finance the expansion.

"We expect the project to be done within the next five years," he said.

Saudi Arabia is also planning a SAR27 billion riyal (USD$7.2 billion) airport in Jeddah, its second largest city, and plans to launch sukuk within one or two months to help finance the project, the head of the civil aviation body said in remarks aired on Sunday.