Saudi’s new King Abdulaziz airport set for completion by late 2016

New hub set to receive first international flights by mid-2017

PHOTO: On completion, the new King Abdulaziz International Airport will have the capacity to accommodate at least 30 million passengers. Credit: Shutterstock

Saudi Arabia’s new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is expected to be ready by the end of 2016, the General Authority of Civil Aviation and project officials reportedly said after a recent site visit.

The airport is set to begin receiving international flights by mid-2017, after the commissioning phase and period of operational testing, Arab News reported.

It is set to include a 33km conveyor belt, an automatic train to transport international passengers, and around 96 air bridges serving aircraft of different sizes, of which four will accommodate the Airbus A380.

According to officials, 86% of construction work has been completed including the core business lounge, a 136-metre-high control tower with supporting facilities, roads, bridges, infrastructure and rain drainage networks.

Phase one of the project includes a terminal complex measuring 720,000 square metres. There will be five lounges for first- and business-class passengers, two for departing international flights and two for departing domestic flights, while the fifth will be for other passengers connecting with international and domestic flights.

It will also feature a mosque accommodating approximately 3,000 people with an outdoor prayer yard measuring over 2,450 square metres. An upper level for at least 700 women will also be available.

On completion, KAIA will have the capacity to accommodate at least 30 million passengers.

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