New airport projects to boost tourism

Prince Sultan bin Salman with GACA President Sulaiman Al-Hamdan at the SCTNH headquarters.

Prince Sultan bin Salman with GACA President Sulaiman Al-Hamdan at the SCTNH headquarters.

Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage President Prince Sultan bin Salman and General Authority for Civil Aviation President Suleiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan discussed the ongoing airport expansion projects across the Kingdom that will help in handling over 100 million passengers annually by 2020.

This is expected to help promote domestic tourism with better air connectivity.

An SCTNH spokesman said Thursday that the two leaders recently met here at SCTNH headquarters to discuss joint cooperation and reviewed progress made so far on the GACA’s Vision 2020, which includes establishment, development and expansion of 27 regional and major airports, besides strengthening the capacities of all airports across the Kingdom to handle over 100 million passengers annually.

During the meeting, Prince Sultan and Al-Hamdan attended a presentation on the King Khalid International Airport City project, one of the key elements of the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) Development Project in Riyadh.

The project was approved by the government on the basis of a submission made by KKIA Development Supervisory Committee, headed by Prince Sultan during 2008-2012.

The committee prepared an integrated project for the KKIA and recommended plans to develop the skills and behavior of airport staff.

In order to accommodate growing passenger numbers, GACA revised plans to improve the airport network and raise the standard of airport services by 2040 such as Phase I of the expansion work at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, which is expected to be completed in mid-2016, raising its capacity to 30 million passengers annually. Phase II is expected to raise the capacity to 45 million passengers and phase three to 80 million passengers.

The Phase I work in progress at the KKIA is expected to be completed by 2019 raising its capacity to 35.5 million passengers a year, while the Phase II work will raise this to 47.5 million passengers a year.

Speaking during the meeting, Prince Sultan expressed appreciation of the effective partnership between the two organizations, which resulted in many concrete achievements, especially in the establishment of several airports throughout the country in a number of major tourist destinations that helped promote domestic tourism with better connectivity and smooth travel experiences for visitors.

He commended GACA’s efforts in the establishment and development of a number of advanced airports in the Kingdom, which will help support tourism.

Prince Sultan also noted the importance of KKIA as the gateway to the capital and one of the fastest growing airports in the world.


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