All change at Abha Airport

​The Saudi Arabian government plans to expand Abha International airport, which is located in the Asir region. Investors and airport operating companies have been invited to bid for concessions to the country’s airport operator, Matarat, to develop and run the facility for 30 years.

Plans include the creation of a new passenger terminal – featuring 20 gates and 41 check-in desks, capable of handling 13 million passengers annually. It hopes to have work completed by 2028. In November 2023, it was announced that Foster + Partners had won an international competition to design the new building.

Abha’s current terminal has a capacity for 1.5 million passengers per year and can handle around 30,000 flights yearly, which it hopes to increase to over 90,000 once the work has been completed. Other projects include the construction of new taxiways, aprons and infrastructure projects around the site.

The announcement forms part of the country’s Saudi Vision 2030, in which it plans to increase its aviation network to cover 250 destinations from Saudi Arabia and carry over 330 million passengers annually. This includes the construction of a new airport in the capital city Riyadh. Known as The King Salman International airport, it is expected to become the largest in the world, covering around 57sqkm with six parallel runways, capable of handling 130 million passengers by 2030. (Photo Foster + Partners)