Saudi Arabia plans to expand its capital's airport 3 fold in size within the next five years, a senior civil aviation official said, as passenger traffic rises rapidly.
The 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 3 times its current size," Ali Al-Zahrani, Director General for Corporate Planning at the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), said about the Riyadh airport expansion.
"We developed a comprehensive master plan with a conceptual design for the 4 terminals that will raise the capacity at Riyadh airport from 12 to 24 million," Al-Zahrani told Reuters.
Al-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 (Islamic bonds), to finance the expansion.
"We expect the project to be done within the next 5 years," he said.
Saudi Arabia is also planning a 27-billion riyal ($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 GACA said in remarks aired on Al Arabiya TV on Sunday.
Source: Reuters; Al Arabiya