Saudi Arabia has launched an ambitious plan for the expansion of Abha International Airport to 10 times its current capacity.
The new airport is intended to accommodate over 13 million passengers and handle more than 90,000 flights annually. The new design will reflect the identity of the beautiful Asir region and showcase Saudi culture.
An Overview of The Expansion Plan
The grand plan, revealed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to transform the existing Abha International Airport into a state-of-the-art facility that reflects the architectural identity of the Asir region, the area where the airport is located.
The region is known for its unique landscapes and cultural heritage, factors that will play a significant role in the new airport’s design.
The expansion project will see the airport’s terminal area grow from the current 10,500 square meters to an impressive 65,000 square meters.
This significant increase in size will allow the airport to accommodate over 13 million passengers annually, a massive surge from its current capacity of 1.5 million passengers.
Furthermore, the airport is expected to handle more than 90,000 flights each year, a substantial rise from the current 30,000 flights.
The initiative, set to be completed by 2028, is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader strategy aimed at boosting its aviation sector and enhancing air connectivity in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
Vision 2030 aims to increase the number of passengers using the country’s airports from the current 100 million to 330 million by 2030.
The Design Features of the New Abha International Airport
The new airport will boast a wide range of features to enhance the passenger experience and streamline travel processes.
These include modern passenger boarding bridges, self-service facilities, and an extensive parking facility to cater to the growing passenger influx.
The airport will house 20 gates and 41 check-in counters, including seven state-of-the-art self-service check-in kiosks.
These additions aim to boost efficiency and offer a seamless travel experience for passengers.
The design concept integrates a consistent architectural theme reflecting the rich heritage of the southern Asir region, aiming to elevate the status of the airport as a distinguished landmark in the Kingdom.
This integration of cultural elements with modern infrastructure aims to create an immersive travel experience for visitors.
Economic and Tourism Impact of the Expansion
The expansion of the Abha International Airport is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy and the tourism sector.
By increasing the airport’s capacity and improving its facilities, the project is set to attract more tourists to the Asir region.
This aligns with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to develop its tourism sector, a key component of the country’s diversification strategy outlined in Vision 2030.
Furthermore, the project is projected to create numerous job opportunities, boosting the local economy.
The improved air connectivity will also facilitate the transportation of goods and services, fostering trade and investment in the region.
Significance of the Expansion in Line with Saudi Vision 2030
The ambitious expansion of Abha International Airport is a significant step towards realizing the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
This vision outlines a comprehensive roadmap for the country’s development, with a particular focus on diversifying the economy away from oil and promoting sectors like tourism and aviation.
Through projects like the expansion of Abha International Airport, Saudi Arabia is investing in infrastructure development to enhance its global connectivity.
The country aims to increase air connectivity to 250 destinations and facilitate the transportation of 330 million passengers by 2030.
Aseer’s Ambitious Projects
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia is spearheading remarkable transformations in the Aseer Province. A standout project, “Soudah Peaks,” promises to merge luxury and unparalleled natural beauty.
Announced in September 2023, this Luxury Mountain Development is set to mesmerize with its placement at a breathtaking 3,015 meters above sea level.
Thoughtfully divided into six exclusive zones, the development aims to offer diverse experiences to its visitors and inhabitants.
In a progressive endeavor to boost regional allure, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has also initiated the ‘ARDARA’ project in Abha, nestled within the picturesque Aseer Province.
Crowned as ARDARA’s flagship endeavor, ‘AlWadi,’ or ‘the valley’ in Arabic, is poised to emerge as a bustling urban haven, enticing both domestic and international explorers.
Sprawling over an expansive 2.5 million square meters, AlWadi is meticulously designed to embody sustainability, mirroring Saudi Arabia’s resolute stride towards eco-conscious advancements.
This venture, launched on October 17, 2023, is yet another testament to the PIF’s commitment to cultivating unique experiences while enhancing the infrastructural fabric of the Aseer region.