Saudi to add three more domestic airports as part of strategic plan
Saudi Arabia's strategic plan to increase the number of domestic airports and improve air transportation across the Kingdom was given a boost this week as the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) confirmed plans to build three new airports in Jazan, Abha and Al Qasim.
The three new airports are expected to add capacity to handle 7.3 million more passengers each year.
The new airports are part of a $10 billion investment in the aviation sector.
According to Thomson Reuters subsidiary Zawya, the number of passengers handled by Saudi Arabian airports reached 54.46 million in 2011, an increase of 13.5% over 2010's 47.95 million, and 25.3 % over 2008's 42.31 million.
Domestic aviation has been increasing rapidly in the kingdom and GACA is currently considering licensing new ventures to provide domestic air travel – but the development of infrastructure is seen as vital.
GACA is conducting a feasibility study on three new airports.
New Abha airport will occupy 60,000sq.m. and will be implemented in two phasesinitially handling 3.5 million passengers annually increasing to five million passengers.
The new Jizan airport will be located between the industrial and residential parts of the city and GACA says a tender will be issued soon . This 50,000 sq.m. facility is expected to add capacity for 2.4 million passengers per year.
The third new airport, at Al Qasim, will have a 34,000 square metre terminal building with the capacity to handle 1.4 million passengers per year.
PICTURED: New airport at the southern city of Abha will open the splendid city to new markets