World’s largest airport scheduled to open in Saudi Arabia by 2030

Foster + Partners

Saudi Arabia is set to construct one of the world’s biggest airports. Located in Riyadh, King Salman International Airport will boast six massive parallel runways and is expected to see 120 million passengers per year, making it the largest in the world in terms of passenger numbers.

While the airport has not been given a designated IATA code yet, it is expected to open by 2030.

According to the Saudi Infrastructure Expo, the airport will help drive annual passenger traffic in Saudi Arabia from the current 29 million to 120 million travelers by 2030, and 185 million by 2050. Aircraft traffic in the kingdom is also seen to increase from 211,000 to more than 1 million flights per year when the airport opens.

The bidding process for construction contractors to secure the 57 kilometer project began in November 2023.

In February 29, 2024, media outlet MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) reported that UK construction firm Mace Group won the role of delivery partner for King Salman International Airport.

Mace has extensive experience in airport construction and maintenance, including a 30-year contract covering London-Heathrow Airport (LHR). Mace’s services for the Saudi airport will include project management, design management, cost consulting and procurement advice.

Meanwhile, a bid to design the master plan for King Salman international Airport was won by UK-based architecture firm Foster + Partners. The airport’s buildings will be designed by the British firm, while US-based design firm Jacobs will plot infrastructure.

The airport is also expected to generate 150,000 jobs when it operates. 

The world’s current largest airport in terms of size is also in Saudi Arabia, King Fahd International Airport (DMM), which processes about 10 million passengers per year.

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