King Fahd International Airport
King Fahd International Airport also known as Dammam International Airport or simply Dammam Airport or King Fahd Airport, is the international airport serving Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The airport is located 31 kilometers northwest of downtown Dammam and is named after the former King of Saudi Arabia, Fahd ibn Abdulaziz. The airport serves the entire Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and is one of the three primary international airports in the kingdom. King Fahd International is also the largest airport in the world by area, with the area of the airport property being an approximate 776 square kilometers (300 mi2), even though the airport building itself is just 36.75 km2 (14.2 mi2).
Formerly a US airbase used primarily during the Gulf War, the airport has been overseeing commercial operations since 28 November 1999 and has since expanded to provide connections to 43 destinations. Before King Fahd International, the primary airport serving the region was the much busier Dhahran International Airport, which has since been converted for military use and is now designated the King Abdulaziz Air Base. Since July 1, 2017, the airport is being operated and managed by the Dammam Airports Company (DACO). Commercial transport was only halted once throughout the history of the airport, when on March 21, 2020, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced the suspension of all domestic and international travel both within and to and from the kingdom. Domestic operations were reinitiated on May 31, while international flights were still suspended until further notice, as of September 2020.
The third largest airport in the kingdom by passenger volume, more than 10 million passengers use King Fahd International each year, and 37 airlines operate flights in and out of the airport. The airport serves as a hub to Saudia, SaudiGulf Airlines and Flynas. It previously served as a hub to the now defunct Sama airline. In addition to these airlines, Saudi Aramco Aviation, the airline operated by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant; which uses it to transport employees in and out of strategic locations such as Yanbu, Tanajib and Shaybah, also flies out of the airport.
The airport is served by two runways; both 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) long, and consists of three terminal buildings: the Passenger Terminal serves mainstream passengers, the Aramco Terminal is used by Aramco employees to board Saudi Aramco Aviation flights and the Royal Terminal is reserved for use by the Saudi royal family. The busiest route operated between Dammam and another city is to and from Dubai, with 70 weekly flights.