Khaleej Times, Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022 | Jamadi Al Awwal 5, 1444
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince announces plan to transform Riyadh airport into a massive aviation hub
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Monday plans to transform
Riyadh airport into a massive aviation hub with six parallel runways and
designed to accommodate up to 120 million travellers by 2030, state news agency
Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), will
build King Salman International Airport, which should stretch over 57 square
kilometres (22.01 square miles) and include current King Khaled airport, SPA
Aviation is part of a government strategy to become a global transportation and
logistics hub by 2030, with Riyadh airport as the operation base of a brand new
airline, RIA, that would compete with regional heavyweights Emirates and Qatar
The kingdom has set itself high targets for diversifying its economy and
reducing its dependence on oil, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into a
plan called Vision 2030 initiated by Prince Mohammed.
"The airport project is in line with Saudi Arabia's vision to transform Riyadh
to be among the top ten city economies in the world and to support the growth of
Riyadh's population to 15–20 million people by 2030," SPA said.
It added King Salman airport would create 103,000 direct and indirect jobs,
handle 185 million travellers and process 3.5 million tons of cargo by 2050.
It did not give details on the planned investments but a person familiar with
the plans has told Reuters the PIF's aviation department is getting hefty funds
to create an ecosystem of cargo and passenger airlines, repair companies and
The 77-year-old state airline Saudia will be based out of the Red Sea city
Jeddah under the transportation strategy that calls for the establishment of the
The kingdom is already in talks with planemakers Airbus SE and Boeing Co on
orders for the two carriers Saudia and RIA.